In the most highly anticipated match so far at the 2002 World Cup, England defeated Argentina 1-0 Friday night in Sapporo. From the Falklands War to memorable World Cup clashes in 1986 and 1998, these two nations have a history of battling. Some 7,000 police made sure the battle stayed on the pitch.
The boisterous but peaceful crowd was treated to a hard-fought and physical match. The first good scoring chance went to England's Michael Owen, as he dribbled through three Argentine defenders in the 24th minute before blasting his scoring attempt off the post.
But 20 minutes later Owen was taken down in the box, and David Beckham converted the 44th minute penalty to give England the 1-0 half time lead. England had the best opportunities early in the second half, but both Owen and Beckham failed to convert their chances.
The Argentines dominated the final 20 minutes, attacking and pinning England into its own area. English keeper David Seaman was sorely tested, but managed to preserve the 1-0 shut-out. England and Sweden each have four points, though the Swedes lead Group F by goal difference.