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Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Klinsmann hails 'fantastic' fans
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann hailed the host nation's "fantastic" fans after they beat Argentina on penalties to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

"It's difficult to find words. I'm incredibly happy, proud and thankful," Klinsmann said after the match.

"The fantastic crowd carried us, they believed in us. We knew that even down a goal we'd come back.

"We were convinced that if we got to penalties we'd advance. The belief we have in ourselves is really strong."

We had the luck to do it - it was typically German

Germany's Oliver Neuville
Klinsmann said his side - under fire before the tournament began - had acquired a real belief that they could win the tournament on home soil.

"This is a team that's grown together over the past six weeks and we want to be world champions," he said.

Captain Michael Ballack said the team has deserved their shoot-out win, which came after the match finished 1-1 at the end of extra-time.

"That was sensational. The match was maybe not so interesting for spectators but it was a match at a very high level," he said.

"The team fought to the end."

He added: "Of course, there's always luck when it comes to penalties but I think the team really deserved to win."

Germany will play the winners of the Italy-Ukraine quarter-final in Dortmund on Tuesday at 2000 BST.

"We're on a good run at the moment. Since the start of the World Cup we've done very well and played at a very high level with very few mistakes," said Ballack.

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, who saved from Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso to set up the shoot-out win, said Germany's past shoot-out success had helped himm.

"As a German goalkeeper it is always expected of you that you will hold up in a penalty shoot-out," he said.

"That was a quarter-final, but the big challenge is coming up now. People should celebrate. I'll get ready for Tuesday."

Substitute Oliver Neuville, who scored the first penalty of the shootout, said: "Either side could have won it. We had the luck to do it. It was typically German.

"Neither team played very well. It was more of a fight. It was a difficult match. Our team didn't have many chances but thank God we won."

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