Saturday, June 15th
Denmark vs England in Niigata
As the massed bands marched off the parade ground, after Trooping
The Colour in London, the massed ranks of English football fans entered the Niigata Big
Swan Stadium to parade the colour again.... and hope that their football team were up to
the battle ahead.
By coming second in Group F,
England had the advantage of playing in the evening against European opposition rather
than in the heat of the day against Senegal.
Emile Heskey stumbled on his first gallop onto a long-ball forward, as
England looked to gain an early lead.
David Beckham's 5th minute corner, from the left, was headed down by Rio Ferdinand. Thomas
Sorensen couldn't hold it properly, as Michael Owen was on hand to put him under pressure,
and the Sunderland goalkeeper fumbled the ball into his own net.... and then tried to flap
in back out. The ball had already crossed the line but Emile Heskey slammed it back over,
just to make sure.
Denmark received a double whammy when Kasper Bogelund had to replace the injured Thomas
Helveg, with only seven minutes gone.
England weren't ready to sit back just yet and, in the 15th minute,
Emile Heskey was clear through again..... but pulled-up short as Thomas Sorensen got down
to the ball first.
The cool Scandinavians weren't put out of their stride, trying instead
to regroup and play their own game...... but England were still goal hungry.
With only twenty two minutes gone England were two goals in front, with Michael Owen
opening his World cup account. Trevor Sinclair squared the ball through to Nicky Butt in
the Denmark area, who flicked the ball with the edge of his foot for the Liverpool star to
England dropped back a little after Emile Heskey failed to connect to
a Beckham right-wing cross, on the half-hour, and the rain started to fall harder.
Jon Dahl Tomasson was left in plenty of space, on the Danish right,
with a free run at the English area.... and a rare mistake by Rio Ferdinand allowed
Denmark to get in around the back on the other side, shortly later.
England were fortunate not to be punished by these lapses of
concentration as they sought to push up again.
From Danny Mills' throw, England received a lucky bounce and David
Beckham quickly anticipated the space for Heskey to run into.
David Beckham was the first to congratulate Emile Heskey after he put away England's third
goal, a minute before the break.
England's worries weren't quite over as David Seaman had to tip over a
Thomas Gravesen drive, just before the half-time whistle.
Half-time: Denmark 0 - England 3
Robbie Fowler, who replaced Michael Owen at half-time, almost connected with a low cross
from Emile Heskey..... whose confidence level had just received a tremendous boost.
As the game went on. Thomas Sorensen did well to tip a Beckham curler
over the bar for a corner; three minutes before the hour...... then a Niclas Jensen drive
bounced out of Seaman's grasp at the other end.... but Sol Campbell was on hand to hook
the loose ball away.
England might have been three goals ahead, with a little over twenty
minutes to go, but Denmark were still looking dangerous..... Kasper Bogelund's shot
cannoning off Jon Dahl Tomasson's head.
Having already brought on Kieron Dyer for Paul Scholes, four minutes after the restart,
Svengali's third substitution - with twenty minutes left - was to replace Emile Heskey
with Teddy Sheringham and give the Tottenham striker his 50th cap.
England then did everything right to hold out for a quarter-final pairing with either Brazil or
Denmark 0 -
Man of the Match:
David Beckham - The England captain set up two of England's three goals and dropped back
to help out, when the Danes threatened to get back in the game.
Stig Töfting (24 mins)
Danny Mills (50 mins)
1 Thomas Sorensen; 6 Thomas Helveg (20 Kasper Bogelund - 7 mins), 3 Rene Henriksen, 12
Niclas Jensen, 4 Martin Laursen; 7 Thomas Gravesen, 2 Stig Töfting (14 Claus Jensen - 58
mins); 8 Jesper Gronkjaer, 19 Dennis Rommedahl, 11 Ebbe Sand, 9 Jon Dahl Tomasson.
1 David Seaman; 6 Sol Campbell, 3 Ashley Cole, 5 Rio Ferdinand, 2 Danny Mills; 7 David
Beckham, 21 Nicky Butt, 8 Paul Scholes (23 Kieron Dyer - 49 mins), 4 Trevor Sinclair; 11
Emile Heskey (17 Teddy Sheringham - 69 mins), 10 Michael Owen (9 Robbie Fowler - 46 mins).
Referee: Markus Merk
Denmark, France, Senegal, Uruguay.
Paraguay, Slovenia, Spain,
Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Turkey.
South Korea, United States.
Korea First Round Matches.
Cameroon, Germany, Republic of Ireland,
Argentina, England, Nigeria, Sweden.
Croatia, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico.
Belgium, Japan, Russia, Tunisia.
Japan First Round Matches.
2002 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
Group Tables - Leading Goalscorers.
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