Just when the world champions looked to be heading for a surprise defeat in their friendly against Australia, up popped substitute Podolski to grab an 81st-minute equaliser that allowed his side to escape with a 2-2 draw.

The 29-year-old now has 48 international goals, behind only Miroslav Klose (71) and Gerd Mueller (68).

"Lukas has great qualities and I know it," said Germany coach Joachim Loew this week as he defended his decision to call up the experienced player.

"He is always capable of making use of his potential. We are behind him."

Podolski has spent a lot of time on Inter's bench and was also a fringe player at Arsenal for the first half of the season.

Loew picked him for Wednesday's game and Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia but hinted his patience would not last long, saying the forward needed more playing time.

It was only fitting that Podolski bailed out Germany in the stadium where he played the first of his 122 internationals in 2004.

The substitute struck from close range with his favoured left foot after captain Mile Jedinak had given Australia a 2-1 lead with a curling free kick from 20 metres.

Earlier, Marco Reus put the Germans in front before James Troisi levelled with a bullet header.

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