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Lukas Podolski marks brilliant end to international career after netting stunning goal against England

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 23 March 2017, 12:58 PM
Lukas Podolski  - File Photo
Lukas Podolski - File Photo

German striker Lukas Podolski admitted he could not have asked for a better international farewell after netting the superb winner in the 1-0 friendly win over England.

It was only fitting that the Galatasaray forward should claim his 49th goal on his 130th -- and final -- international appearance in Wednesday's emotional farewell.

"The way it finished up was like in a film," said Podolski, who smashed home the winning goal on 69 minutes, then came off to thunderous applause with six minutes left.

"Dear god, or someone else, gave me a strong left foot and I used it tonight. I am proud of the last 13 years," beamed Podolski, who will join Japan's Vissel Kobe next season.

"It was a great game, a great result and a great way to say goodbye." Podolski captained the world champions to their first win over old rivals England on home soil since 1987.

The victory was also sweet for head coach Joachim Loew as it was a record seventh game without conceding a goal for Germany, a run starting since their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to France.

It came with Loew missing first-choice players like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus and Mario Gomez.     

However, Gareth Southgate's England had the better of the world champions in the first-half before Podolski's winner.

Adam Lallana's powerful shot hit the post with 30 minutes gone. Then Dele Alli forced Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a reflex save but it stayed goalless at the break.

Podolski turned the friendly Germany's way with the superb winner on 69 minutes. Andre Schuerrle laid the ball off for Podolski, whose bullet shot off his left foot gave England goalkeeper Joe Hart no chance from 25 metres out. 

First Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:52 PM

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