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Sunday, 23 June, 2002, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Hamann's injury worry
Dietmar Hamann makes an important challenge against the USA
Hamann (centre) is a key figure for Germany
German midfielder Dietmar Hamann is still a doubt for Germany's semi-final against South Korea.

Hamann missed a light training session on Saturday to rest his injured knee.

Assistant coach Michael Skibbe admitted that the Liverpool player is battling to be fit for next Tuesday's game.

"His condition has improved slightly but a question mark remains," he said.

Hamann twisted his right knee during Friday's 1-0 quarter-final win against the USA.

Germany believe Oliver Neuville was wrongly booked during the USA game
Neuville: Appealing a booking

Germany have also appealed to Fifa to annul the booking given to Oliver Neuville against the USA.

The foul was committed by Jens Jeremies but was wrongly attributed to Neuville by Scottish referee Hugh Dallas, the team said.

Whoever is available for Germany, coach Rudi Voeller knows his players will have to improve significantly to get past the buoyant Koreans.

"We have to step up a gear, otherwise the semi-finals will be our last stop," Voeller said.

"The main criticism I have is that we didn't believe in ourselves against the USA - I was shocked by that."

"You can always make mistakes but you have to trust yourself. If we don't do that against Korea, it will be the end for us."

Open Quote
The best team does not always win the World Cup, otherwise Brazil would have won it 14 times, not four
Close Quote
Rudi Voeller

Voeller believes a tight defence is the key to Germany's success.

"We have to be compact at the back. Spain did that and Korea created few chances.

"We know our strengths are that we have a great goalkeeper in Oliver Kahn and that we are dangerous from set-pieces," he said.

The German coach is not underestimating the resilience of Korea.

"They have knocked out Portugal, Italy and Spain, which says it all.

"The fact that they had to play extra time twice might be a slight advantage for us but they don't look tired at all. They look like they could play tomorrow."

Looking ahead to a possible final against Brazil, Voeller refused to concede the tournament to the overwhelming favourites from South America.

"The best team does not always win the World Cup, otherwise Brazil would have won it 14 times, not just four."


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