Fairy­tale end­ing for Podol­ski

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DORT­MUND: Lukas Podol­ski ad­mit­ted his Ger­many farewell could not have been scripted bet­ter 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.

REUTERS PIC

Ger­many's Lukas Podol­ski is tossed in the air by team­mates af­ter his fi­nal ap­pear­ance for his coun­try against Eng­land on Wednesday.

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