Both sides were out of contention for Nations League finals spots, with England already relegated to the competition’s second tier and Germany sitting third entering their final matchday, but the game had added significance for the Three Lions as it marked their final test before the World Cup begins on Nov. 20.

Raheem Sterling of England had the best chance to score for either team in the middle of the first half, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen blocked his weak shot after a smart cutback.

Gareth Southgate’s side remained dangerous on the break, but there was no end result when Sterling fired straight at Ter Stegen after making a full-field run to pounce onto Kane’s ball into the box. Germany took the lead early in the second half when Gundogan converted a penalty after Harry Maguire fouled Jamal Musiala in the area, and they were two up 15 minutes later when Havertz curled a brilliant shot in from distance that left Nick Pope with no chance.


What appeared unlikely as the clock approached 70 minutes became a reality when Shaw and substitute Mount scored in short succession to pull the match back to equal terms and bring the home crowd back to life. Nico Schlotterbeck got a yellow card for stamping on Jude Bellingham’s ankle. This gave England a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, which Harry Kane did to the delight of the Wembley crowd.

However, Pope mishandled a long-range shot, allowing Havertz to side-foot into the back of the net and tie the score at 3-3. Bukayo Saka surged clean on goal in second-half stoppage time with a chance to win it for England, but Ter Stegen deflected his effort against the crossbar.

In Group B, England will face Iran, the United States, and Wales, while Hansi Flick will lead Germany against Japan, Spain, and Costa Rica. Flick was dismayed to watch a 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit in 13 second-half minutes, but he was more focused on his own team’s late comeback.

“We were fairly comfortable at 2-0,” Flick remarked, “but England threw on a couple of changes that made them better offensively.” But we must also look at it positively. I told my guys that they had shown incredible fortitude and never gave up, so it felt great to be back. Southgate’s side finished third in the group with three points, trailing Germany with seven, Hungary with ten, and Italy, who won the group with 11 points and advanced to the Nations League final four.

It’s been more than a century since England went six competitive games without a win, but this remarkable comeback against Germany changed the narrative. Both teams needed a pre-World Cup pick-me-up after disappointing Nations League campaigns, with England losing 1-0 away to Italy last Friday and Germany losing by the same scoreline at home to Hungary.

The last time the two heavyweights met at Wembley, England was on a high, and manager Southgate could do no wrong. However, the mood has soured due to a dearth of goals, with Kane’s last-minute penalty in Germany being their lone goal in their previous five Nations League games.

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