Match Number: 720 Date: 25.06.2002 Location: Seoul, Korea Competition: World Cup, Japan/Korea 2002 - Semifinals GERMANY: Kahn - Frings, Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder - B. Schneider (85. Jeremies), Hamann, Ballack, Bode - Neuville (88. Asamoah), Klose (70. Bierhoff) - Coach: Völler SOUTH KOREA: W.-J. Lee - J.C. Choi (56. M.S. Lee) , Hong (80. Seol), T.Y. Kim - Song, Y.P. Lee, Yoo, C.S. Lee - Park - Hwang (54. Ahn), Cha - Coach: Hiddink Scoring: 1:0 Ballack (75., assist Neuville) Referee: Urs Meier Yellow cards: Ballack - M.S. Lee Attendance: 63,961
A solid performance by the German squad, perhaps their best of the tournament so far. The Koreans wanted to take the game to the Germans with their high tempo style, but they were effectively neutralized throughout most of the match. Instead, the DFB team managed to control the pace, often pressing the Koreans hard in their own half, and threatening with good passing and dangerous high balls. The first half saw a slight edge for the German squad, but the match was still up for grabs.
The Germans again opened the second half with pressure, creating a few chances, and bottling up the Koreans. Perhaps in desperation, Hiddink brought on Ahn, who had been left out of the starting lineup due to a slight injury. Their game seemed to pick up tempo, and their familiar running style began to reassert itself. The Germans began to rely more on counterattacks, and it soon paid dividends.
The goal finally came when Neuville, who worked hard for most of the match, ran down a long ball on the right flank. Despite being surrounded by several defenders, he squared the ball back into the middle, where the onrushing Ballack hammered a shot. Won-Lee made a great reaction save, but the rebound bounced right back to the German midfielder, who easily slotted home.
Overall, a solid game for the German squad, which pretty much held the Koreans in check throughout the match, limiting their goal opportunities. At times, they outhustled the Koreans, and the enthusiastic crowd didn't bother them in the least. And of course, they cleverly waited to score a goal that couldn't be negated by a fixed judge :) (In all fairness, the refereeing at this match was excellent.) Oliver Kahn was again superb in goal, but was less busy than in previous matches. Marco Bode's replacement of Christian Ziege on the left flank seemed to pay dividends, as he worked hard especially in the first 2/3 of the match. Ramelow, Linke and Frings were solid in defense. Upfront, Neuville had a decent match, with some good runs. Klose was mostly invisible. The main negative is that Michael Ballack picked up another yellow card, and therefore will miss the final. Since the Germans seem to have trouble scoring except against the hapless Saudis, Rudi Voeller will have to come up with something...