Spectators at Vitality Stadium were treated to a fascinating duel as the cream of Europe’s under-21s locked horns tonight.
Skippered by home favourite Dominic Solanke, England’s Young Lions gave the reigning European champions a run for their money in front of a sell-out crowd.
Handed the captain’s armband by boss Aidy Boothroyd, the Cherries striker did not disappoint and duly delivered an equalising goal on the stroke of half-time.
Beaten by Germany on penalties in the 2017 semi-final, England had gone behind to Mahmoud Dahoud’s opener, the Borussia Dortmund player drawing first blood on 27 minutes.
However, there was a nasty sting in the tail for the Young Lions as Felix Uduokhai grabbed an injury-time winner in somewhat controversial circumstances.
The Wolfsburg defender's deflected strike from close range came as England’s Kyle Walker-Peters lay prostrate next to him in need of treatment to a head injury.
England, who face France, Romania and Croatia in group games at this year’s finals, were watched by Gareth Southgate, fresh from presiding over Euro 2020 qualifying wins against Czech Republic and Montenegro.
The first shooting chance fell to Solanke after he had given Germany skipper Timo Baumgartl the slip and fastened on to a ball over the top.
But the Cherries striker failed to get any power behind his effort from a tight angle, allowing goalkeeper Florian Muller to save comfortably.
Benjamin Henrichs saw his cross-shot tipped past the post by England goalkeeper Dean Henderson before a shot from Levin Oztunali was deflected for a corner.
A sweeping move by England ended with Demarai Gray’s strike from a Tom Davies pass cannoning off Maximillian Mittelstadt and flying just past the upright.
Some neat footwork from Florian Neuhaus saw him jink his way into the danger zone, only for the Borussia Mönchengladbach man to lift his shot into the side netting.
Dahoud opened the scoring midway through the first half after he had been afforded far too much time and space having been picked out by Arne Maier.
The 23-year-old chested down his teammate’s lofted pass before steadily himself and rifling a right foot shot past Henderson and into the bottom corner of the net.
Dahoud went close to adding a second when he curled a delightful effort with the outside of his right boot inches past the post.
Henderson got down well to touch a drive from Luca Waldschmidt on to the post with Nadiem Amiri firing the loose ball wide.
Solanke restored parity two minutes before half-time, the goal owing much to the skills of Phil Foden although there was also an element of good fortune about it.
Foden showed some neat close control as he danced across the top of the 18-yard box before trying to thread a pass into the feet of Solanke.
However, the ball struck Maier who then proceeded to kick it against the onrushing Solanke, gifting the striker a tap-in into an empty net after Muller had been left stranded.
Kieran Dowell’s free-kick at the start of the second half failed to trouble Germany goalkeeper Muller before Leicester’s Harvey Barnes saw his effort curl the wrong side of the upright.
The hugely-impressive Foden had Muller scrambling across his line after taking aim from 20 yards but the Manchester City teenager’s effort flew narrowly wide.
A header from Abdelhamid Sabiri, one of five substitutions made by Germany manager Stefan Kuntz in the 59th minute, was blocked by Jake Clarke-Salter before Oztunali dragged his follow-up effort wide of the target.
The raft of changes revitalised Germany after the Young Lions had made a bright start to the second period with Foden often catching the eye.
As the two teams went in search of a winner, it was Germany who had the final say when Uduokhai popped up to score in the closing stages.
The Wolfsburg defender's shot, which took a wicked deflection, came as Tottenham’s Walker-Peters was close by and on the floor requiring treatment to a head injury, sustained while attempting to clear a corner.
England: Henderson, Dowell (Calvert-Lewin, 67), Foden, Davies (Choudhury, 67), Fry (Konsa, 67), Clarke-Salter, Walker-Peters, Barnes (Dasilva, 80), Sessegnon (Lookman, 80), Solanke (Maddison, 80), Gray.
Unused subs: Kenny, Tomori, Kelly, Gunn (g/k), Woodman (g/k).
Germany: Muller, Henrichs, Uduokhai, Baumgartl, Oztunali (Eggstein, 80), Dahoud (Stenzel, 80), Waldschmidt (Klunter, 59), Mittelstadt (Sabiri, 59), Maier (Iyoha, 59), Amiri (Lowen, 59), Neuhaus (Nmecha, 59).
Unused subs: Anton, Richter, Nicolas (g/k), Brodersen (g/k).
Referee: Marco Di Bello (Italy).