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England Advances to World Cup Quarterfinals - 2002-06-15


England has advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over Denmark on a rainy Saturday night in Niigata. England got a little luck and finally got its offense on track

England got a break in the fifth minute, when Rio Ferdinand sent a header into the arms of keeper Thomas Sorensen. But the Dane inexplicably bobbled the ball into the net, to give England the one to nothing lead.

Then in the 22nd minute England's Michael Owen, made his presence felt for the first time in the tournament, when he tallied from seven meters to make it two-nil. England made it three to nothing in the 44th, when Emile Heskey booted home a perfect feed from David Beckham. Denmark coach Morten Olsen talks about the last goal.

"Just before the halftime, of course we make a mistake, and then the game was over. Because to make three goals against the English is nearly impossible," he said.

Denmark went all out on offense in the second half, but England dropped back into a defensive shell and protected its lead. In a game expected to be so close that it would be settled in extra-time or by penalties, it was a surprisingly decisive three to nothing victory for England. England coach Sven Goran Eriksson thought his team deserved the win.

"Maybe the result is too much. I don't think we maybe deserved three-nil, but we deserved to win," he said. "Maybe not with that score. Second half, Denmark had the ball a lot but did not create many chances, but well done on Denmark they did not give up."

In its next match, England faces the winner of Monday's game between Brazil and Belgium.

In the first knock-out round match played in South Korea Saturday, Germany got an 88th goal from Oliver Neuville to defeat Paraguay one to nothing. The Germans will play the winner from Monday's match between the United States and Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Knockout round action continues on Sunday. In Oita, Japan, Group F winner Sweden faces Group A runner-up Senegal, the only African team left in the tournament. In South Korea, Group B winner Spain goes up against second place Group E side Ireland in Suwon.