|Argentina||0 - 1||England|
|(HT: 0 - 1)|
Pierluigi Collina (ITA)
|1||7 Jun 2002||Gabriel Omar Batistuta||Yellow Card||First Half||13||H|
|2||7 Jun 2002||Owen Hargreaves||Player Out||First Half||19||A|
|3||7 Jun 2002||Trevor Sinclair||Substitute In||First Half||19||A|
|4||7 Jun 2002||Ashley Cole||Yellow Card||First Half||29||A|
|5||7 Jun 2002||David Beckham||Goal (penalty)||First Half||44||A|
|6||7 Jun 2002||Juan Sebastian Veron||Player Out||Second Half||1||H|
|7||7 Jun 2002||Pablo Cesar Aimar||Substitute In||Second Half||1||H|
|8||7 Jun 2002||Emile Heskey||Yellow Card||Second Half||5||A|
|9||7 Jun 2002||Emile Heskey||Player Out||Second Half||9||A|
|10||7 Jun 2002||Teddy Sheringham||Substitute In||Second Half||9||A|
|11||7 Jun 2002||Gabriel Omar Batistuta||Player Out||Second Half||15||H|
|12||7 Jun 2002||Hernan Crespo||Substitute In||Second Half||15||H|
|13||7 Jun 2002||Kily Gonzalez||Player Out||Second Half||19||H|
|14||7 Jun 2002||Claudio Javier Lopez||Substitute In||Second Half||19||H|
|15||7 Jun 2002||Michael Owen||Player Out||Second Half||35||A|
|16||7 Jun 2002||Wayne Bridge||Substitute In||Second Half||35||A|
|A David Beckham penalty fired England to a 1-0 victory over tournament favourites Argentina in a gripping World Cup 'Group of Death' showdown at the Sapporo Dome. England skipper Beckham blasted a 44th-minute spot-kick past Argentine keeper Pablo Cavallero after referee Pierluigi Collina pointed to the spot when England striker Michael Owen was tripped in the box by Mauricio Pochettino. The win put England second in Group F, level on four points with leaders Sweden, 2-1 winners over Nigeria earlier Friday. Defeat left Argentina third with three points. But it was Beckham's night, the inspirational midfielder laying to rest the ghost of St Etienne 1998, when he was sent off against the Argentinians and held responsible for England's exit from the tournament.
"It's just unbelievable. It's been four years (since he was sent off against Argentina at France 98), a long four years. It's been up and down but this tops it off."
Beckham admitted taking England's match winning penalty had been a nerve-warcking experience. "Their antics, the keeper telling me where I could place the ball, (Diego) Simeone shaking my hand but that's the way they play."
However, the England captain tried to deflect praise away from himself. "The team was brilliant for 92 minutes."
Victory was greeted with relief and delight by England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, under fierce criticism for his tactics following his team's 1-1 draw with Sweden in their opening game last Sunday.
"I am very pleased. Of course it was very hard, the last 15 minutes we were tired - but we took our chances," the Swedish manager said.
"I think we deserved to win the game and for 70-75 minutes we played very good football."
"It pleased me that we played football for more than 45 minutes - we came out second half and we created some chances," Eriksson said.
"We did very well and we played with a big, big heart."
Eriksson was cautious about England's prospects for the rest of the tournament.
"This win was very important after the first game. We have to work very, very hard to try to go further on," he said.
It was a deserved win for England, who carved out a series of opportunities in the second half and then withstood some furious Argentine pressure to hang on for a famous win and avenge their 1998 World Cup defeat. England twice came close to doubling their lead after half-time, which had seen Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa surprisingly substitute skipper Juan Sebastian Veron for the lively Pablo Aimar. First Owen beat the Argentine defence before sending his shot wide, and then man-of-the-match Paul Scholes unleashed a spectacular volley that had Cavallero scrambling to parry clear. Beckham had the beating of Bayer Leverkusen defender Diego Placente, but attempted to finish with his right foot and failed to test Cavallero as his flicked effort drifted wide. England, bristling with confidence and with recalled Nicky Butt superb in midfield, again went close to scoring on 58 minutes. A patient build-up saw Scholes float a lovely pass to substitute Teddy Sheringham, who uncorked a venomous volley which Cavallero desperately beat away. Argentina piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes, England's tiring players giving away possession cheaply again and again. The South Americans' relentless assault on the English goal almost paid off 15 minutes from time when Pochettino's powerful downward header was cleared off the line by England keeper David Seaman. Owen had earlier come close to giving England the lead on 24 minutes after a quick breakout from defence sent the England striker racing away on goal. The Liverpool player was well-shadowed by the Argentine defence but sent a firm low shot through the legs of Diego Simeone which crashed back off the inside of the post with keeper Cavallero beaten. England took the lead towards the end of a half in which Argentina's skilful side had looked to be taking control with some slick, confident passing. But a re-modelled English midfield, regrouping well after the injured Owen Hargreaves was replaced by Trevor Sinclair after 19 minutes and with , proved difficult to break down for the Argentinians. And with the threat of Owen lurking in attack the South Americans could never afford to drop their guard.
(courtesy of dailysoccer)
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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on 7 June 2002 23:34:10.