The Republic of Ireland's Euro 2008 campaign started with a cruel defeat as a deflected free-kick by Lukas Podolski gave Germany victory in Stuttgart.
Torsten Frings of Germany comes up against Kevin Kilbane
In Steve Staunton's first competitive game as manager, the unfancied Republic were heading for a creditable draw.
But Podolski's free-kick after 56 minutes came off Robbie Keane's foot to leave keeper Shay Given with no chance.
Earlier Given had made some notable saves to keep the Republic in with a chance of a valuable point.
Despite the defeat, Staunton can take some heart from the display coming less than three weeks after a 4-0 drubbing at home to Holland.
The Irish were understrength that night and among the returning stars against Germany was skipper Keane who almost snatched an early lead, heading just wide after 80 seconds.
Given then made two outstanding saves to deny Miroslav Klose and Podolski in quick succession.
Early in the second half Podolski sent a header over from Bastian Schweinsteiger's corner.
Steven Reid then went close with a free-kick which Arne Friedrich cleared after keeper Jens Lehmann had failed to hold on to the ball.
Germany got the breakthrough when Andy O'Brien and Richard Dunne penalised for sandwiching Klose.
From just three yards outside the area, Bernd Schneider and Klose set up Podolski for a drive which deflected off the heel of Keane and crept inside Given's left-hand post and beyond his despairing dive.
The frustration got to Republic boss Staunton and he was later sent from the dug-out for angrily kicking a water bottle after a decision went against his side.
In the final attack of the match, defender Richard Dunne headed over.
Germany: Lehmann, Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Manuel Friedrich, Jansen, Schneider (Borowski 83), Frings, Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Podolski (Neuville 76), Klose.
Subs Not Used: Hildebrand, Asamoah, Hitzlsperger, Odonkor, Madlung.
Booked: Schweinsteiger, Klose, Schneider.
Goals: Podolski 57.
Rep of Ireland: Given, Carr, Andrew O'Brien, Dunne, Kilbane (Alan O'Brien 83), Finnan, Reid, O'Shea, Duff (McGeady 77), Doyle (Elliott 79), Keane.
Subs Not Used: Henderson, Miller, Douglas, St. Ledger.
Booked: Reid, Given, Dunne.
Ref: Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain).