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Mertesacker heads Germany to 1-0 win over England

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm •  Published: November 19, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Per Mertesacker's header gave Germany a 1-0 victory over England on Tuesday, sending its fierce rival to back-to-back home losses for the first time in 36 years.

Captaining Germany in London, Mertesacker powered in the only goal of the Wembley Stadium friendly after meeting a cross from Toni Kroos in the 36th minute.

"The fact that we've won here at Wembley this time-honored place is a joy for us," Germany coach Joachim Loew said through a translator.

While Germany deployed a second-string squad — and took control after taking the lead — England started with a strong lineup that couldn't get a shot on target or prevent boos ringing out around the venue at the final whistle for the second time in four days here.

England, which was beaten 2-0 by Chile on Friday, has now lost consecutive matches at Wembley for the first time since defeats to Wales and Scotland in 1977.

The closest Roy Hodgson's team came to an equalizer was when Andros Townsend struck the post from a long-range strike on a night when Germany goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller had little to do.

Germany fans celebrated the win by singing — in English — "Football's coming home" — taken from the England anthem "Three Lions."

It was a miserable way for the English Football Association to round out its 150th anniversary celebrations in front of a 85,934-strong crowd, with Germany exposing the hosts' technical deficiencies.

"It was a harsh defeat but we needed better quality," Hodgson said. "The effort, the work rate and desire, I can't fault at all. But in the time we had the ball in the German half, we weren't as efficient as the Germans were when they had the ball in our half.

"The quality of our passing and shooting was not as good as the Germans."

England, which beat Germany here in the 1966 World Cup final, was only spared a heavier defeat against a fellow Brazil 2014 qualifier by Joe Hart's saves.

The Manchester City goalkeeper, who was rested in the Chile friendly, provided a reminder of his abilities three weeks after being dropped by his club following a series of blunders.

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