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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK

Korean luck runs out

By Andy Gray
BBC Radio Five Live's summariser

The South Korean luck that everybody has spoken about in this tournament has finally run out - but that is not to say the Germans were lucky to win this game.

Korea were unlucky with the goal. The goalkeeper made a good save and the ball could have gone anywhere, but fell straight to Michael Ballack.

" I just hope the fantastic, open entertaining football of Brazil comes through in the final and wins this World Cup "

But nothing else happened in the game to suggest that luck had gone against them. They worked hard and showed all the qualities they have shown all the way through this tournament.

The Germans, though, were what they are - a good side without being a great one.

They are competent and well organised with good athletes. And they coped with the Korean ability to play the game with pace.

The Germans certainly weren't sluggish, either.

At the very highest level, if a team such as Korea are going to lack anything, it is going to be real genuine quality in the top half of the pitch.

At the back they were sound again. And they flew at the Germans, really pinned them back, but they just didn't have top-quality front men to create the opening to get them the goal.

You have to say this is a fantastic achievement for Rudi Voeller in such a short time. He has turned this German team around from the one beaten 5-1 by England.

He has got a balanced team now. It looks a lot better and there are happier players there. But there is one thing I still worry about.

Klose has got goals, but I don't know if he will continue to get them.And, if he doesn't, then who does?

I don't feel they have another front man who is going to score enough for them.

This German side only seems to need one and now they have come this far you would not bet against them winning the World Cup for a fourth time.

" Korea now have the chance to become the third-best team in the world - and that would still be an enormous achievement "

But I just hope that the fantastic, open entertaining football of Brazil comes through in the final and wins this World Cup.

In many ways, the third-place play-off is the perfect scenario for South Korea.

Instead of going to Japan and not having many fans there, they go to Daegu and give their supporters the chance to say cheerio and to thank them for this wonderful ride.

They now have the chance to become, officially, the third-best team in the world - and that would still be an enormous achievement.


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