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15 June 2002, 21:35 Seoul - Tokyo


England went two goals ahead in the opening half hour and controlled the sluggish Danes from there out to win a place in the quarter-finals. England will meet the victor of the Brazil v. Belgium match.

Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen, and Emile Heskey were the goal-scoring heroes, though a fit-again David Beckham was consistently outstanding for the English. Denmark, who slew France in the opening round, never seemed to recover from the early deficit in Niigata. It's the first time that Denmark have failed to score in a FIFA World Cup™ match.

Match facts

It took only five minutes for England to get cracking. A pinpoint Beckham corner found the head of Ferdinand at the far post. The defender’s header took a fortunate deflection off a sprawling Thomas Sorensen before bobbling over the line (0:1, 5’).

\Faster off the line, England began to exert a measure of control over the match, as AC Milan standout Thomas Helveg was carried off the pitch with an injury. Kasper Bogelund replaced the classy back (7’).

‘Danish Dynamite’ didn’t quite explode, but with ten minutes gone the red-clad squad began to look more like the side that finished top of Group A with Jon Dahl Tomasson leading the charge.

\But England hit back with Heskey sprung clean through on Sorensen after shaking off his marker. The Sunderland ‘keeper though was quick off his line to clean up the danger (16’).

England’s pressure paid dividends again as Owen slammed a deflected low cross from Trevor Sinclair clinically into the corner from eight yards out (0:2, 22’).

The Danes nearly hit right back as Ebbe Sand took a pass from Thomas Gravesen, and cut twice in the box before slamming his shot just wide of the post (27’). And another great run down the right from Dennis Rommedhal found the toe of Ebbe Sand looking dangerous, but the striker failed to steer his strike past David Seaman (38’)

Minutes before the interval, Heskey fired a rocket past Sorensen on the end of a Beckham pass. Some slack defending and a waterlogged pitch was surely to blame (0:3, 44’)

Denmark missed out on an early chance to get one back just after the break as Rommedahl pulled the ball back from the byline for Jesper Gronkjaer. But the Chelsea man fired well over to see his chance go begging (47’).

And straight away Heskey’s dangerous low cross for Owen nearly led to another English goal, but the little marksman was only just unable to steer the ball into the Danish net (48’).

The Danes continued to press with Rommedahl down the right but found a solid wall in the English defence.

Beckham nearly compounded Danish frustration by putting England four goals to the good. The Manchester United icon fired a right-footed rocket on Sorensen from 25 yards. The ‘keeper managed to keep it out, but only just (57’).

Denmark charged on in search of a goal, and a flurry of attacks culminated in a fine Bogelund shot inadvertently cleared off the line by teammate Tomasson (67’).

England again nearly extended their lead when a brilliant Robbie Fowler cross picked out Sinclair charging in at goal. The midfielder’s header, though, could only soar over the bar (70’).

But despite some good attacking at both ends of the park, there were to be no more goals as England pulled off a stunning win over Denmark to secure a place in the quarter-finals.


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