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Podolski gets perfect send-off with winning goal for Germany

29 March 2017

Lukas Podolski will captain injury-hit Germany on his farewell worldwide appearance in Wednesday's friendly against England, head coach Joachim Loew has confirmed.

England manager Gareth Southgate also expressed his sadness at the attack, which had left five dead and 40 injured.

Steven Naismith equalised in the 34th minute when he turned a wayward shot by debutant Tom Cairney into the net but the visitors, ranked 117th in the world, merited a draw in game which served as a warm-up for Scotland's crunch World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Hampden Park on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate said his players should not be disheartened by their 1-0 defeat against Germany, arguing they had been the better side for the majority of the match.

Podolski's victor against England was the 49th of his global career. 'He is one of the greatest in England. "I have often been able to rely on my left foot and we saw that again today". It's like a movie.

After his stellar last game, the former Koln player was honoured by DFB (German Football Association) and was given a top-notch farewell party.

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Southgate did not address Rooney's position directly but did ponder the possible value of an occasion such as the one in honour of Podolski. "We achieved both of those things, but I don't like losing and neither do the players", he said. "What we haven't done, which maybe some other countries do, is evenings like tonight".

The visitors continued to enjoy the better of things as the half progressed, though, and Eric Dier threatened to break the deadlock with a carbon copy of his dramatic victor from England's victory in Berlin last March when he met Lallana's corner at the near post but couldn't generate the power to test Ter Stegen.

They enjoyed successful club careers, received a chance to play for England, enjoyed a few good games, went to a few worldwide tournaments, failed, came back and repeated the process.

"We were very nervous in the first half, but some of them were playing together for the first time", added Loew. Really pleased with Michael Keane, I think he had an excellent debut and can be very proud of that; he used the ball very well, defended well, and throughout the team there were some good performances. He won the 2014 World Cup, came third in 2006 and 2010.

The Galatasaray striker, who is heading to play in Japan at the end of the campaign, also shared a chuckle when relaying a light-hearted exchange with England's Joe Hart following his goal.

"I'm pleased I will get a chance to say goodbye to the fans", added the Galatasaray striker, who made his worldwide debut in 2004.

Podolski gets perfect send-off with winning goal for Germany