Eric Dier’s stoppage-time header sealed a superb comeback win for England over reigning world champions Germany in their international friendly in Berlin.
Roy Hodgson’s men went two goals down at the Olympiastadion as first Toni Kroos and then Mario Gomez struck for the Germans either side of the interval.
But Harry Kane and substitute Jamie Vardy both conjured fantastic goals out of nothing to turn the game on its head before Dier headed home the winner – his first ever international goal.
Germany 2-3 England
Saturday 26 March
By Charlie Talbot-Smith
Hodgson fielded a youthful side in Berlin with only 161 caps between them – with Danny Rose making his international debut at left-back.
Gary Cahill was given the captain’s armband and he was immediately involved at both ends, first blocking a goalbound Sami Khedira effort before then putting a free header from a corner wide when he might have done better.
The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half, Dele Alli in particular – on only his second start – was finding pockets of space behind his Tottenham Hotspur club-mate Kane.
But the midfielder’s tame header and a stinging long-range effort that flew over the bar were all England had to show for their dominance.
However it was Germany who might have taken the lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Gomez fired home but his effort was ruled out for a marginal offside call.
Adam Lallana then fired England’s best chance of the half over the bar and Hodgson’s men were cruelly punished just before the break.
Keeper Jack Butland was injured only a minute before and as he tried to run it off – Kroos caught him napping with a long-range left-footed effort that snuck in at his near post.
Butland was subsequently replaced by Fraser Forster and the Southampton keeper had to be alert to save from Gomez before the break and Marco Reus after it.
Alli then stung Manuel Neuer’s palms from distance before England were hit by what looked like a sucker punch – Gomez climbing high to head powerfully home from Sami Khedira’s lofted pass.
Hodgson’s men needed an immediate response and it was Kane that provided it on the hour mark. The Premier League’s top scorer doing his best impression of the late, great Johan Cruyff with a smart turn in the box before arrowing a drive in off the far post.
England were now very much the team on top – Alli only denied an equaliser minutes late after a flowing team move by Neuer’s left boot.
Hodgson then introduced Ross Barkley and Vardy with 20 minutes to go and it was the Leicester front man who had an immediate impact – his sublime near post backheel from Nathaniel Clyne’s cross levelling up proceedings.
England were level and chasing a winner in the closing minutes but Henderson’s long-range effort curled just wide before Alli fired over with the goal at his mercy.
It looked like Germany might escape with a draw but Dier climbed highest in the first minute of stoppage time to power home Jordan Henderson’s cross.
Germany (4-2-3-1): 1. Manuel Neuer, 14. Emre Can, 16. Antonio Rudiger, 5. Mats Hummels, 3. Jonas Hector, 18. Toni Kroos, 6. Sami Khedira, 13. Thomas Muller, 8. Mesut Ozil, 11. Marco Reus, 23. Mario Gomez
Substitutes: 25. Jonathan Tah for Hummels 46, 9. Andre Schurrle for Reus 63, 10. Lukas Podolski for Muller 75, 19. Mario Gotze for Gomez 78
Subs not used: 2. Shkodran Mustafi, 4. Sebastian Rudy, 12. Bernd Leno, 15. Matthias Ginter, 20. Christoph Kramer, 21. Julian Draxler, 22. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 24. Karim Bellarabi, 26. Kevin Trapp, 27. Kevin Volland
Goals: Kroos 43, Gomez 57
Head coach: Joachim Low
England (4-3-2-1): 1. Jack Butland (Stoke City), 2. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), 6. Chris Smalling (Manchester United), 5. Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 3. Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), 4. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), 8. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 10. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), 7. Adam Lallana (Liverpool), 11. Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), 9. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).
Substitutes: 13. Fraser Forster (Southampton) for Butland 45, 19. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) for Welbeck 71, 20. Ross Barkley (Everton) for Lallana 71
Subs not used: 16. Phil Jagielka (Everton)), 15. John Stones (Everton), 22. Tom Heaton (Burnley), 14. Theo Walcott (Arsenal), 17. James Milner (Liverpool), 12. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), 21. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), 18. Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
Goals: Kane 60, Vardy 74, Dier 90+1
Head coach: Roy Hodgson