England comes from behind to beat Germany 3-2 in Berlin
BERLIN >> Jamie Vardy scored his first England goal two minutes after coming on as a substitute and Eric Dier scored in injury time to beat Germany 3-2 and preserve the team's unbeaten record in Berlin on Saturday.
Vardy, who came on in the 72nd minute, produced an audacious flick with his right heel behind his left leg to send Nathaniel Clyne's cross inside the near post to equalize, and Dier headed in the winner in the first minute of injury time.
Toni Kroos opened the scoring just before halftime and Mario Gomez made it 2-0 to Germany just after with his first international goal since Euro 2012, but Harry Kane sparked the comeback four minutes later with a fine turn and shot inside the far post.
"It's annoying for a coach to see your team squander a 2-0 lead. Even when we were leading we weren't fully in control," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "It wasn't undeserved that the English won."
Sami Khedira, who was captaining Germany in Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury-induced absence, agreed: "We did lots right until 2-0, then England punished us. We lost our order. We played a good game for 60 minutes, we'll have to do that for 90 minutes at the European Championship."
England has won six and drawn three of the nine games against Germany played in Berlin.
England coach Roy Hodgson called it his "best night so far" but warned against the rising expectations that come after beating World Cup winners.
"This is a team which is definitely a work in progress," Hodgson said. "Let's not get carried away."
With regular captain Wayne Rooney out with a knee injury, Hodgson turned to Premier League top-scorer Kane to lead his attack, leaving Vardy — who Loew called "spectacular" — on the bench.
Danny Rose made his debut at left back, and Gary Cahill captained the side for the second time in Rooney's absence. Defender Jonathan Tah came on for the second half to make his Germany debut.
The visitors in no way appeared overawed by the 71,000-crowd at the sold-out Olympiastadion, though they were fortunate Gomez had a goal ruled out for offside when TV replays showed he was in line with the last defender.
Germany threatened only intermittently and looked like cantering to the break until Kroos broke the deadlock with a thunderbolt. Nobody closed down the midfielder, who took several touches forward before unleashing a powerful curving strike inside the left post.
England goalkeeper Jack Butland injured himself in the lead-up and had to be carried off before the game resumed.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wasn't really tested until the 52nd, when Alli drew a smart save with a fierce strike, before Jordan Henderson had the next effort deflected over.
Gomez then scored with a perfect header inside the right post from Khedira's floated cross.
It was as good as it got for Germany, with Kane then sparking a stirring comeback.
"Of course the result is important, otherwise we could all just stay at home," Kroos said. "We played very well in the first half, then we defended badly. We left way too much room and didn't hold our ground."
It was Germany's first match since the 2-0 defeat to France in Paris on Nov. 13, a game overshadowed by the attacks outside the stadium and across the city that killed 130 people. The game against the Netherlands in Hannover four days later was called off due to the threat of an attack.
Some 1,500 police officers were on duty, around 400 of whom were drafted in from other federal states. Security was tight with tents erected so supporters and workers at the game could be searched, scanned, and screened beforehand. A police background check was compulsory for workers. Sniffer dogs checked the area around the stadium for explosives two hours before kickoff.
Elsewhere, Poland routed Finland 5-0 in Warsaw, Austria scored two early goals to defeat Albania 2-1 in Vienna, Hungary drew with Croatia 1-1, and Kazakhstan won in Azerbaijan 1-0.
Russia cruised past Lithuania 3-0 in Moscow in its last home game before Euro 2016. Brazilian-born goalkeeper Guilherme came on for the second half to become the first naturalized foreigner to play for Russia.
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