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German joy as Ballack ends Korean dream

Ballack
Michael Ballack shouts in celebration after scoring the winner  


SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Michael Ballack silenced 60,000 South Koreans to put Germany through to their seventh World Cup final with a 1-0 win.

Ballack rammed in his third goal of the tournament 16 minutes before the end after a rare lapse in the Korean defence. But Germany's star player will miss Sunday's final after being booked shortly before his goal.

Oliver Neuville's pullback from the right found Ballack unmarked and although keeper Lee Woon-jae saved his shot, the midfielder drove home the loose ball.

Germany go forward to Sunday's final in Yokohama, Japan, to meet Brazil or Turkey who play their semifinal on Wednesday. (Preview)

"It's a great achievement. I'm happy for the team, for the nation," said Ballack.

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The goal stunned the Red Devils packed into the Seoul Stadium and ended the World Cup adventure for the co-hosts, the first Asian team to make the semifinals.

Another seven million fans had crowded into squares across the country on a day declared a public holiday. They sang and danced, hoping for a repeat of the victories over Portugal, Italy and Spain. (Full story)

But three-times champions Germany, who have conceded just one goal on the way to the final, proved too tough.

Park Ji-sung wasted South Korea's best chance to equalise when he sliced a shot high and wide in stoppage time.

Ballack celebrated with the squad on the final whistle but his absence in the final is a big blow to Germany. He was booked in the second half for hauling down striker Lee Chun-soo -- his second yellow card of the tournament and an automatic one-match ban.

The co-hosts had started brightly. Lee raised the volume in the eighth minute with a first-time shot from the edge of the penalty area that forced a sharp save by Oliver Kahn, diving to his right.

Germany's forwards struggled to find space against Korea's tight marking and did not create a chance until the 17th minute when Oliver Neuville's volley was saved by Lee Woon-jae.

And when Miroslav Klose, the tournament's joint top scorer with five, wriggled free at the edge of the area his shot was charged down.

Injury forced Dutch coach Guus Hiddink to change Korea's forward line from Saturday's quarterfinal penalty shootout win over Spain. Lee, 20, and Cha Doo-ri, 21, teamed up with the experienced Hwang Sun-hong. (Hiddink profile)

But Hwang was substituted in the 54th minute by Ahn Jung-hwan, whose header dumped Italy out of the tournament and led to a dispute with his Italian club Perugia. (Full story)

Germany Oliver Kahn; Christoph Metzelder, Carsten Ramelow, Thomas Linke; Torsten Frings, Bernd Schneider, Dietmar Hamann, Michael Ballack, Marco Bode; Miroslav Klose, Oliver Neuville

South Korea Lee Woon-jae; Choi Jin-cheul, Hong Myung-bo, Kim Tae-young; Park Ji-sung, Song Chong-gug, Yoo Sang-chul, Lee Young-pyo; Cha Doo-ri, Hwang Sun-hong, Lee Chun-soo

Referee Urs Meier (Switzerland)





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