Steven Davis captained Northern Ireland against Germany but couldn't help prevent a 3-1 defeat at Windsor Park in Group C of World Cup qualifying.
The hosts, who have already sealed second spot, fell behind after two minutes when Sebastian Rudy hit an unstoppable long-range shot beyond the grasp of Roy Carroll.
And on 21 minutes, the world champions doubled their advantage through Sandro Wagner to give themselves a cushion.
Joshua Kimmich tidy volley with four minutes to go added gloss to the scoreline for Joachim Low’s men, before Josh Magennis registered a late consolation.
Attentions now turn to a trip to face Norway on Sunday for Michael O’Neill’s men where they will hope to pick up the points to ensure a play-off place.