Podolski lifts Germany
Lukas Podolski grabbed an injury-time equaliser in Germany's first match since the death of Robert Enke.
Last Updated: 18/11/09 10:37pm
Lukas Podolski grabbed an injury-time equaliser as Germany's first match since the death of goalkeeper Robert Enke ended in a draw with Ivory Coast.
Second-half goals from Emmanuel Eboue and Seydou Doumbia had left them staring at a defeat after the Cologne striker fired them in front with an early penalty.
Podolski, though, had the last word on an emotional night for Joachim Low's men.
There were moving scenes before kick-off as Germany captain Michael Ballack, ruled out of the game through injury, placed Enke's number one shirt on the bench among the substitutes.
A video montage featuring footage from Enke's life was shown, accompanied by "You'll never walk alone", while both teams wore black armbands in memory of the goalkeeper, capped eight times by Germany, who committed suicide last week after battling depression.
Ivory Coast paid their respects by wearing T-shirts which bore a portrait of Enke with the words 'in memoriam Robert Enke'.
When the action got under way, it was Germany who went ahead after 12 minutes.
Stefan Kiessling was brought down in the area by Hamburg's Guy Demel and Podolski took full advantage from the spot, placing his penalty low to Aristide Zogbo's left.
Eboue volleyed over the bar and Sekou Cisse saw a right-footed effort well parried by Tim Wiese in the Germany goal as the Ivorians looked to level.
It was Low's men, though, who continued to look the more dangerous. Mesut Ozil's inswinging corner was met by the head of Heiko Westermann, but Arthur Boka made the clearance.
Podolski had an angled shot from the right channel comfortably saved by Zogbo before the visiting goalkeeper made another simple stop from Ozil.
The woodwork came to his rescue a minute before the interval, though, as Piotr Trochowski's left-footer from outside the area hit the post.
Low introduced Manuel Neuer in place of Wiese at half-time and the Schalke shot-stopper was soon beaten in bizarre fashion.
Westermann played the ball back to Neuer, whose clearance hit Eboue and flew into the net to hand the Ivorians a 57th-minute equaliser.
At the other end Podolski's header from Ozil's free-kick flashed wide of the left post, while Mario Gomez had a shot blocked by Emmanuel Kone with nine minutes remaining.
But the Germans were caught out in the 85th minute as Doumbia beat Per Mertesacker and Westermann and fired a shot into the right corner.
Fittingly, though, it was Germany who had the final say as deep into stoppage-time Westermann's deep forward pass found its way through to Podolski, who turned Kolo Toure and bent the ball into the corner.