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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Voeller hails 10-man Germany
German coach Rudi Voller celebrates the 2-0 win over Cameroon
Germany's qualification record is second to none
German coach Rudi Voeller admitted that his team only began to play against Cameroon after Carsten Ramelow had been sent off in the first half.

Two second-half goals gave 10-man Germany a 2-0 victory and a place in the World Cup's last 16 in an ill-tempered match featuring two red cards and 12 other yellow cards.

Open Quote
We proved today that we are a top team
Close Quote
German coach Rudi Voeller

Despite losing Ramelow, German visibly relaxed and five minutes after the break. Substitute Marco Bode collected a pass from striker Miroslav Klose to beat Cameroon goalkeeper Boukar Alioum from close range.

A header from a Michael Ballack cross by Klose, the tournament's leading scorer with five goals, sealed Germany's victory 11 minutes from time to ensure they topped group E.

"We had serious problems at the beginning," said Voeller.

"We felt the pressure because we went into this game as the favourites if only because of our goal difference.

"But we couldn't really deal with that pressure. Cameroon were clearly the better side in the first half.

Germany's Marco Bode
Bode took just five minutes to make his mark

"Strangely enough, we started to play good football after we were down to 10. After we opened the scoring Cameroon became nervous and we started to take control.

"I'm, of course, happy we're in the round of 16. It's very difficult in this World Cup because there's so little difference between the teams."

Voeller also criticised Spanish referee Antonio Lopez Nieto.

"There were too many yellow cards thrown around. This isn't chess. It's the World Cup. And there weren't any really brutal fouls."

Looking forward to the knockout rounds, Voeller added: "If we managed what we did here today then anything is possible. France are out and this isn't the 60s or 70s any more where the final outcome is already certain.

"At such a level of play it's not that embarrassing to get knocked out in the first round. But we proved today that we are a top team."

Germany will meet the runners-up of group B in the next round, probably either South Africa or Paraguay.

The Germans have reached the second round at every World Cup since 1938.

This was their 13th successive qualification beyond the first round which is a World Cup record.


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0




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