Both teams were missing key players, but England's Frank Lampard rifled a 14-yard unstoppable shot past German keeper Jens Lehmann in the ninth minute.
In the 26th minute, England keeper Paul Robinson looked out of position when a Bernd Schneider cross soared just under the crossbar. Robinson pawed it down to gift Kevin Kuranyi a tap-in.
English tabloid The Sun responded with the headline, "What a load of Robbish."
Five minutes before halftime, Germany debutant Christian Pander scored the winner with a 27-yard left-footed rocket. Michael Owen squandered a golden opportunity when he shot wide from close range and Kieron Dyer shot wide after Beckham delivered his only dangerous cross of the day.