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Germany deserved to win: Ballack

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July 01, 2006 00:19 IST

Germany captain Michael Ballack said on Friday that the hosts deserved to beat Argentina after winning their quarter-final 4-2 in a penalty shootout.

"That was sensational," said playmaker Ballack. "The match was maybe not so interesting for spectators but it was a match at a very high level. The team fought to the end.

"Of course, there's always luck when it comes to penalties but I think the team really deserved to win.

Referring to Argentina's opening goal scored by Roberto Ayala after 49 minutes Ballack added:

"It was their first chance on that set piece. We knew how they'd do their set pieces. It was a super header from him but our team fought back hard and scored a beautiful goal.

Germany equalised 10 minutes from time with a header by the tournament's top scorer Miroslav Klose before Ballack joined the penalty scorers in the shootout to see Germany through.

"We're on a good run at the moment. Since the start of the World Cup we've done very well and played at a very high level with very few mistakes," said Ballack.

Germany will play Italy or Ukraine in the semi-finals.

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