The U.S. Soccer team's unexpected run at the World Cup has ended. Germany beat the Americans 1-0 Friday night in the quarterfinals in Ulsan, South Korea. The Americans battled valiantly against the Germans, but it was not to be.
The U.S. team created three good scoring chances before Germany got on the scoreboard. Two were by Landon Donovan, who had his shots both pushed wide of the left post by keeper Oliver Kahn.
The Germans got their lone goal in the 39th minute off a free kick from outside the top right corner of the box. Christian Ziege kicked it high toward the far post, and Michael Ballack outleaped the defense, and headed the ball in off the right hand of U.S. goalie Brad Friedel.
The USA had a great chance to equalize shortly after halftime (49th minute). Greg Berhalter's shot appeared to be blocked from going in the net by German defender Torsten Frings, but no call was made.
The Americans later brought on their three allowed substitutes to try to tie the score, but they could not penetrate the German defense, which has now allowed only one goal in five matches.
A 90th-minute header by U.S. defender Tony Sanneh just went wide of the left post. German coach Rudi Voeller said he knew his team survived through a great effort by the USA
"Of course, I am absolutely happy to have reached the semifinals,but I am not quite happy with the manner that we made it in," Mr. Voeller said. "From the beginning, we didn't really play the way that I wanted us to play, we withdrew far too much into our own half, America put a lot of pressure on us and we just didn't get the combination play going as I would have liked to."
But the Germans got one good combination on their goal, and that's all they would need. U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said he was proud the way his team played against the Germans and pleased his side had the best U.S. soccer team showing at the World Cup in 72 years. "We've made a lot of progress," he said. "We haven't arrived, but I think there is great future for the game in the United States and we would like to get back in 2006 and, hopefully, we'll get there."
So with the 1-0 victory over the U.S. Soccer team, Germany moves on to the semi-finals to face the winner of Saturday's game between World Cup co-host South Korea and Spain.