High-Flying Germany look to South Korea test

17th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 December 2004 , BUSAN - A VfB Stuttgart quartet arrived in Busan on Friday to further strengthen a confident German national team ahead of their friendly with South Korea. Juergen Klinsmann's team defeated Japan 3-0 on Thursday in Yokohama and now run into South Korea on Sunday on their Asian trip, a match that will also bring back memories of the 2002 World Cup. Germany defeated South Korea 1-0 in the World Cup semi-finals to advance into the final they lost 2-0 against Brazil in Yokohama. Michael Ball

17 December 2004

BUSAN - A VfB Stuttgart quartet arrived in Busan on Friday to further strengthen a confident German national team ahead of their friendly with South Korea.

Juergen Klinsmann's team defeated Japan 3-0 on Thursday in Yokohama and now run into South Korea on Sunday on their Asian trip, a match that will also bring back memories of the 2002 World Cup.

Germany defeated South Korea 1-0 in the World Cup semi-finals to advance into the final they lost 2-0 against Brazil in Yokohama.

Michael Ballack scored the winner but was booked later in the match and had to sit out the final.

Now he is back in South Korea as Germany captain and will earn his 50th cap on Sunday amid all-out praise from Klinsmann.

"We expected that he would become a leader when we appointed him captain. We also hoped that he would give the team a comfortable leadership style. He is done exactly that, from the start," said Klinsmann.

The Bayern Munich playmaker Ballack has returned to his form of the past under Klinsmann and scored his 21st international goal against Japan.

"I am looking forward to my 50th cap. That is special," he said.

"The South Koreans want revenge for the World Cup defeat while we want to confirm the good form from the Japan game," Ballack said.

Ballack is a key player in Klinsmann's team and so is striker Miroslav Klose after scoring his second double in as many games in Yokohama.

Both men will be in the starting lineup Sunday although Klinsmann will make changes in several positions.

Stuttgart's Kevin Kuranyi, Andreas Hinkel and Philipp Lahm return from UEFA Cup duties into the lineup for Gerald Asamoah and newcomers Patrick Owomoyela and Christian Schulz. Goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand will play in the final Asia match Tuesday against Thailand in Bangkok.

Germany are undefeated in five games under the reign of Klinsmann and want to confirm the upward trend in their buildup for the 2006 home World Cup.

"We are very satisfied how the boys are working," said Klinsmann. "Let's think back to a few months back. We said that we want to improve bit by bit. A lot has happened in this respect. That gives us energy and strength."

Klinsmann gave his players the day off on Friday to recuperate ahead of the meeting with the South Koreans, who no longer have the form of two years ago when they surprised the world with a fourth place finish at the World Cup.

Coach Jo Bonfrere is rejuvenating the team. Kim Do Heon is a dangerous midfielder who will win his 11th cap and upfront Cho Jae Jin is a deadly striker.

The 23-year-old Midfielder Kyu Seon Park is expected to make his national team debut.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article