"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 [ Images ] 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 [ Images ] or Ukraine in the semi-finals.