Germany coach Rudi Voller singled out defender Sebastian Kehl for praise after his make-shift side ground out a dour 1-0 victory over Paraguay to reach the quarter-finals.
“Kehl played really well and opened the game up from the back,” said Voller after the 22-year-old defender replaced Marko Rehmer at half-time.
“It was very important to bring in Kehl,” added Voller. “That was the key to our game.”
Voller had to deal with problems at the back as Germany, already without the suspended Ramelow, also lost Christoph Metzelder against Paraguay.
“Unfortunately, we had to change from a flat back-four to a three-man defence again, but the guys played really well and Oliver Kahn was never really threatened,” said Voller.
“We were really poor in the first half, when we tried too many long balls and showed little organisation.
“But we have to remember that we have very young players who struggle to cope with the pressure of a World Cup. It is much harder than in the Bundesliga or the Champions’ League.”