Ten-man Northern Ireland put in a brave display in the U21 friendly defeat near Leipzig on Tuesday.
Daryl Fordyce scored four goals in an U19 victory in May
The visitors took a 10th minute lead when Portsmouth's Daryl Fordyce headed in from Jamie Mulgrew's cross.
Jerome Boateng levelled five minutes later and Kevin Schindler scored the winner in first-half stoppage time.
Rory McArdle wasted a good chance for NI before Tottenham midfielder Kieran McKenna was sent-off for two yellow cards on 72 minutes.
Matthew Hazley went close for N Ireland in the 38th minute, showing good skill to advance into the Germany half only to blaze a shot over the bar.
McArdle should have equalised on 65 minutes but headed wide in front of an open goal.
Northern Ireland U21 boss Roy Millar could not hide his disappointment
following the defeat.
"We should have got something out of the game as this was not a
great German team," he said.
"We are a good side but our second half performance was poor. Our passing was
not good enough and we could not keep possession of the ball.
"We started well but gave away a goal on the stroke of half-time
which you do not do at this level.
"Daryl did well and scored a good goal but he got a knock and we had to take
him off at half-time.
"That upset our rhythm a little bit and Kieran McKenna's sending off did not
help either, although I have no complaints about that."
Fordyce scored all four goals for N Ireland in a Uefa Under-19 Championship qualifier victory over Serbia & Montenegro in May.