German power overcomes the Reds

Germany beat South Korea 1-0 in the World Cup football semifinal in Seoul.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Germany ended South Korea's dream run at the World Cup, beating the co-host 1-0 today to book a place in the final for a record seventh time. Michael Ballack scored the winner in the 75th minute after striker Oliver Neuville broke down the right and cut the ball back for the Bayern Munich-bound midfielder. Ballack fired his first shot with his right foot straight at goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae, but then drilled in the rebound with his left from the edge of the six-yard box. Four minutes earlier, Ballack was shown a yellow card for tripping Lee Chun-soo on the edge of the German area. It meant he will miss the final after picking up two cards since the group stages. Germany will face the winner of the Brazil vs. Turkey semifinal on June 30 in Yokohama, Japan. The South Koreans, the first Asian team to make the semifinals of a World Cup, had the better of the opening stages with some free-flowing soccer. The best chance fell to South Korea in the 8th minute when a right-wing cross from Cha Doo-ri was met first time by Lee, who brought a fine one-handed save from Oliver Kahn. Virtually every spectator in the ground was wearing South Korea's colors, turning the stadium into a screaming red cauldron. Non-stop chants of "Dae Han Min Guk'' - "Republic of Korea'' and "Pilseung Korea" - "Victory Korea" resounded throughout the game. Germany, though, had an immediate chance to silence the passionate home crowd in only the second minute, but Carsten Ramelow's left-foot drive, following a break down the right, went straight at goalkeeper Lee. The Germans found themselves pegged deep in their half, but launched some effective counterattacks. In the 17th minute, Oliver Neuville, finding space between two South Korean defenders on the edge of the box, put a volley straight at the 'keeper. Seven minutes later, five-goal Miroslav Klose appealed for a penalty after falling in the box, but Swiss referee Urs Meier rightly waved play on. The South Koreans repelled Germany's attacks with some fine defending, their midfielders racing back to protect the back four. In the 53rd minute, Torsten Frings had to make a fine sliding tackle to take the ball off the feet of Cha Doo-ri who was breaking dangerously through the middle. Hiddink then made a double switch, bringing on Ahn Jung-hwan - the golden goal hero against Italy - to replace veteran striker Hwang Sun-hong. Defender Lee Min-sung came on for Choi Jin-cheul. In the 63rd, Miroslav Klose tried a header, but failed to get any power on it. Klose tried to volley a pass from Ramelow, but it sailed high and wide. Coach Rudi Voeller took off Klose after 70 minutes and brought on Oliver Bierhoff. Ballack's goal took the sting out of the home crowd and South Korea's attacks couldn't break down Germany's tough back four. South Korea had a chance in injury time but Park Ji-sung fired a shot from the edge of the area wildly over. At the final whistle, the German players jumped for joy, with the replacement players running on to the field. Some of the South Koreans slumped to their knees. Lineups:Germany: 1-Oliver Kahn (c), 2-Thomas Linke, 5-Carsten Ramelow, 7-Oliver Neuville, 8-Dietmar Hamann, 11-Miroslav Klose, 13-Michael Ballack, 17-Marco Bode, 19-Bernd Schneider, 21-Christoph Metzelder, 22-Torsten Frings South Korea: 1-Lee Woon-jae, 4-Choi Jin-cheul, 6-Yoo Sang-chul, 7-Kim Tae-young, 10-Lee Young-pyo, 14-Lee Chung-soo, 16-Cha Doo-ri, 18-Hwang Sun-hong, 20-Hong Myung-bo (c), 21-Park Ji-sung, 22-Song Chong-gug Referee: Urs Meier, Switzerland