In the final game of the day, Ziege patrolled the left flank for Germany who, from 19 minutes onwards, looked good to secure an early passage to the second stage. Miraslav Klose nodded the Germans in front only for Robbie Keane to send Ireland into raptures a minute from the end of injury time.
Boss Mick McCarthy was slightly overwhelmed immediately afterwards and offered this blunt assessment: "We battered the Germans, to be honest. I thought we gave them a good doing,"
Earlier, the USA's John O'Brien rocked Portugal after just four minutes and the lead was doubled when Charlton's on-loan defender Jorge Costa diverted Landon Donovan's cross into his own net. Brian McBride headed the States into a 3-0 lead on 40 minutes before Beto reduced the deficit right on half-time.
A second half own goal from Jeff Agoos gave Portugal second half hope but the USA held firm for a famous victory sparking joyous celebrations at the final whistle.
Brad Friedel got the nod over Kasey Keller for the USA's World Cup opener against Portugal in Suwon and America pulled off a stunning 3-2 win. Germany, featuring Christian Ziege, were pipped in the closing seconds by Ireland.