Ten-man Germany eased to a 4-1 win over Northern Ireland in Saturday night's friendly at Windsor Park which was held to mark the IFA's 125th anniversary.
David Healy put NI ahead from the spot on 15 minutes after Robert Huth was sent-off for handball.
But Gerald Asamoah (17) equalised and the impressive Michael Ballack (62) headed the Germans into the lead.
Ballack (66) converted a penalty after Gillespie's push on Schweinsteger before Lukas Podolski (81) made it 4-1.
Germany started strongly and Bernd Schneider pounced on Mark Clyde's poor pass before firing wide after four minutes.
Maik Taylor produced a superb save two minutes later to keep out Ballack's fierce 25-yard shot.
Keith Gillespie came to N Ireland's rescue with a goal-line clearance from Kevin Kuranyi's sixth minute header.
But the game swung dramatically on 15 minutes when Huth used his hand to stop Keith Gillespie's goalbound effort.
The big Chelsea defender was shown a red card before Healy stepped up to send Jens Lehmann the wrong way.
But the lead only lasted two minutes as Asamoah chested down from Ballack's cross before smashing the ball past Taylor.
Steve Davis wasted an excellent chance to restore N Ireland's lead on 29 minutes when the unmarked midfielder headed over from Stuart Elliott's pin-point cross.
Robert Huth leaves the pitch after his first half sending-off
The visitors created the first opening of the second half with Chris Baird making a crucial block to deny the dangerous Ballack.
Steve Jones was presented with two good chances just before the hour but was off target both times.
Germany went ahead after 62 minutes when Ballack converted a penalty after Gillespie shoved substitute Schweinsteger as he ran into the area.
It was 3-1 three minutes later with substitute Sebastian Dieslier's inswinging free-kick headed in at the near post by Ballack.
N Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez brought on Lincoln defender Gareth McAuley for his debut with Gilliespie, who was booked in the penalty incident, the player replaced.
Andy Kirk, Warren Feeney and Andy Smith were also introduced as N Ireland searched for a way back.
Schweinsteger was sent clear on 75 minutes but decided to pass instead of shooting and the ball was cleared.
Michael Ingham became the night's second debutant for N Ireland a minute later, taking over in goal from skipper Taylor.
Ingham's first international also means a £30,000 payment to Irish League club Cliftonville - part of the deal which took the player from the Belfast side to Sunderland.
But Ingham's first job was to pick the ball out of the net after substitute Podolski broke into the box in the 81st minute before finding the net.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, Baird, McCartney, Craigan, Clyde, Davis, Gillespie, Johnson, Healy, Jones, Elliott. Subs: Ingham, McAuley, Kirk, Smith, Feeney, Brunt.
Germany: Lehmann, Owomoyela, Hitzlsperger, Huth, Ballack, Mertesacker, Frings, Ernst, Schneider, Asamoah, Kuranyi. Subs: Kahn, Hildebrand, Hinkel, Friedrich, Schweinsteiger, Borowski, Podolski, Schulz, Deisler, Hanke, Engelhardt.
Referee: C Richmond (Scotland)