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