Conspiracy theories aside, South Korea are the first Asian
side to reach a World Cup semi-finals..... well, they are the hosts..... or one of them at
The game started slowly: South Korea keeping possession
well and Germany content to keep the volume of the crowd down.
Bernd Schneider's first serious cross didn't find Marco
Bode or Miroslav Klose as Lee Woon-Jae collected safely.
Then Lee Chun-Soo showed his pace with a couple of runs
through the middle.... the crescendo of the home crowd seemed to inspire Oliver Kahn to
palm away Korea's first promising attack on goal, in the 9th minute.
Urs Meier turned his back on a German penalty appeal, when
Miroslav Klose fell at the hand of the Korean masked man, Kim Tae-Young, in the 24th
Germany were looking more purposeful than they had done in
their previous two matches.... but that wouldn't really be too hard to do.
South Korea showed that there's more to there game than
pace by outjumping the larger Germans and even pushing them off the ball.
Neither goalkeeper had too much to do as the teams ended
the first-half, of the first semi-final, even.
Half-time: Germany 0 -- South Korea 0
Germany tried to increase the pressure at the start of the
second-half....... Klose crossing to Bode.... and Marco Bode then trying to get on the end
of the resulting corner.
The atmosphere in the stadium rose as Ahn Jung-Hwan --
reinstated as a Perugia player -- started to warm up.
With a little over half an hour to go, the home fans tried
to lift their team with their monotonous.... "Oh, Korea....."
-- GOAL -- 1-0
To make up for missing the next match, because of his 71st minute yellow card, Michael
Ballack made sure that at least his team would be in the final by running on to
Oliver Neuville's low cross...... Ballack's right foot shot was blocked by Lee
Woon-Jae..... but the Leverkusen star followed up with his left...... and secured Germany
a place in the 2002 World Cup Final.
So the conspiracy theories can end.... although we all know
South Korea didn't want to play in Yokohama and will enjoy the third-place
match in Daegu.
Player of the Match:
Michael Ballack -- The Bayer Leverkusen star knew he would miss the final, for his second
yellow card, but didn't let his head drop and made sure that his country would at least be
there in Yokohama.
Michael Ballack (71 mins)
Oliver Neuville (85 mins)
Lee Min-Sung (94 mins)
1 Oliver Kahn; 22 Torsten Frings; 2 Thomas Linke, 5 Carsten Ramelow, 21 Christoph
Metzelder; 19 Bernd Schneider (16 Jens Jeremies -- 85 mins), 13 Michael Ballack, 8 Dietmar
Hamann, 17 Marco Bode; 11 Miroslav Klose (20 Oliver Bierhoff -- 69 mins), 7 Oliver
Neuville (14 Gerald Asamoah -- 87 mins).
1 Lee Woon-Jae; 4 Choi Jun-Chul (15 Lee Min-Sung -- 56 mins), 20 Hong Myung-Bo (9 Seol
Ki-Hyun -- 81 mins), 7 Kim Tae-Young; 22 Song Chong-Gug, 14 Lee Chun-Soo, 21 Park Ji-Sung,
6 Yoo Sang-Chul, 10 Lee Young-Pyo; 16 Cha Doo-Ri, 18 Hwang Sun-Hong (19 Ahn Jung-Hwan --