Carlton Cole almost put England ahead six minutes after the break when his close-range header was pushed onto the bar. The Germany substitute Piotr Trochowski also hit the woodwork with a powerful effort in the closing stages.
Kiessling had the first chance of the first half when he beat Anton Ferdinand only to fire well over from 20 yards. A Whittingham free-kick from the left was then met by Michael Dawson but his header flew over.
Germany broke through after 17 minutes when Sascha Riether's pinpoint cross was powerfully headed home by Kiessling.
Taylor levelled the scoreline in acrobatic fashion. Whittingham delivered a corner from the left which reached Taylor on the edge of the six-yard box and he gleefully struck home.
Six minutes into the second period, Cole came within inches of scoring with a header after some good work from James Milner.
England almost grabbed a late winner when Milner set up David Nugent, but he mishit his shot and Cole's follow-up was saved.
Germany Under-21 (4-4-2): Adler; Volz, Fathi, Huth, Matip; Riether, Odonkor, Lehmann, Hanke; Kiessling (Rafael, 62), Hunt (Trochowski, 80). Substitutes not used: Walke, Fischer, Helmes, Hilbert, Ochs.
England Under-21 (4-5-1): Carson; Hunt (Baines, h-t), S Taylor, Dawson, Ferdinand; Welsh (Nugent, 78), O'Neil, Reo-Coker, Whittingham (Soares, h-t), Milner; Cole. Substitutes not used: Camp (gk), Davenport, R Taylor, Stead.
Referee: I Bebek (Croatia).
* Fifa has potentially set a precedent for overruling refereeing decisions after ordering the World Cup qualifying play-off between Uzbekistan and Bahrain to be replayed. Fifa ruled that the referee made a "technical error" in disallowing an Uzbekistan penalty because an attacking player encroached into the area and then awarding Bahrain a free-kick instead of a retake.
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