Sweden		3	1	2	0	4	3	5
England		3	1	2	0	2	1	5
Argentina	3	1	1	1	2	2	4
Nigeria		3	0	1	2	1	3	1

Qualify For The Second Round

12 JUNE 2002

Svensson 59					Crespo 88

Two early chances for Sorin, one saved one headed over. Claudio Lopez
sent an admiteddly difficult volley over the bar but should have done
better from Ortega's cross and also missed a great chance as one again
the Swedes failed to pick him up. Svensson stunned Argentina with a
superb free kick. Cavallero spared Pochettino the embarassment of
scoring an own goal from Jonson's centre with a marvellous save. Kily
Gonzalez should have walked for flattening Larsson when he was clean
through on goal, incredibly the ref gave Larsson a yellow for diving!
Hedman denied the Argies again, this time saving from Zanetti. Andersson
almost finished off Argentina on a counter attack but his shot came back
off a post. Ortega took full advantage of a stupid challenge by Jonson
to win a penalty. Hedman saved Ortega's penaty but Crespo, who had
already started to run into the box as soon as Ortega took the kick,
followed up, 1-1. Sweden held on and Argentina are out.

Hedman is a great shot stopper but weak on crosses. Someone forgot to
tell Argentina.

"After we got our goal, they put us back on defence for a long, long time.
It showed the players character and goalkeeper Magnus Hedman made some
good saves. We had a bit of luck today but that's football."
Lars Lagerback

"We are feeling bad because we have not qualified. We did our best but
we couldn't put away our chances. We were beaten by a team that was not
better than us." - Pablo Aimar

Assist : Svensson (won free kick)


Butt and Mills combined for the first chance, Heskey shooting straight
at Enyeama. Seaman dropped an Okocha free kick but fortunatly Campbell
cleared before Agohowa got a chance to shoot. A fantastic tackle by
Okoronkwo denied Owen an almost certain goal. Akwuegbu tested Seaman
following a powerful run and clever one-two with Obiorah on the edge of
the box. Enyeama made an outstanding save, tipping a bilstering 30yd
drive from Scholes onto the post. Heskey held off Okoronkwo and sent
a teasing cross into the box but Owen failed to connect. Sheringham
also missed a sitter after Ashely Cole's cross bounced off Owen and
fell at his feet.

This wasn't as poor a performance from England as the score-line suggest.
Right now they are not taking their chances but if they are to get
further Owen must start scoring and scoring quickly. Onigbinde's
experimental Nigeria side played well giving hope for the future. 

"We had two objectives. one, to present a team that would not be
disgraced at the World Cup finals, and secondly to lay a foundation for
a new Super Eagles. I believe, particularly from the line-up I presented
this afternoon, it is clear we have a sound foundation for the new look
Super Eagles. So I am satisfied." - Adegboye Onigbinde

"We knew that Nigeria did not want to lose this game, and I think they
played well. We had more chances than them, but we didn't score today.
Let's hope we save that for the next match on Saturday."
Sven Goran Eriksson

7 JUNE 2002

Larsson 35, 63 (pen)				Aghahowa 27

Mjallby powerfully met a Svensson corner and seemed certain to score but for
a spectacular clearance from Justice Christopher. Hedman was caught out by
Yobo's teasing cross, Aghahowa leapt between two defenders and sent a
header into the net and hit SEVEN back somersaults to celebrate!
A magnificent first touch from Larsson took him away from West as he ran
onto a Ljungberg through pass, he sent Okoronkwo the wrong way with a
clever dummy then toe poked past Shorunmu. Fantastic goal. Okocha
mesmerised the Swedish defence with a fabulous run, he drew out Hedman
and shot, Lucic kicked the ball against Mjallby, it bounced off the post and
was cleared. Larsson went down too easily in the box but Udeze did pull
him back. Shorunmu guessed right but there was too much pace on the
ball. West headed wide. Utaka had a shot off the line and Yobo hit the

Yobo looks like a great prospect. Definitely on the shopping lists of many

Assist : Yobo, Ljungberg, Larsson (won pen)

"I think it was a more open game than we perhaps usually play. Offensively,
I think we played very well. We had some problems in some parts of the game
in our defence but in total I think we played a very good game and I think the
players deserved to win it." - Lars Lagerback

"It was a big disappointment. We didn't expect to lose to Sweden."
Nwankwo Kanu

						Beckham 44 (Pen)

Kily Gonzalez wasted a great chance when he shot horribly wide after Sorin
cleverly back heeled in the box. Batistuta was booked for a cynical foul
on Cole. Sinclair came on for Hargreaves, a blessing in disguise. Butt
released Owen with a superb 50yd pass, Owen jinked past Samuel and cracked
a shot against the outside of a post. Past-it Batistuta weakly headed at
Seaman from Kily Gonzalez' cross. Kily Gonzalez volleyed over the bar after
Zanetti's cross caused havoc. Kily Gonzalez received treatment for a
broken nose courtesy of Beckham. Shame it wasn't Simeone. Argentina
struggled to cope with England's pressing and couldn't clear after Scholes
fired a shot into the box, Heskey played the ball back to Beckham, he was
fouled and the ball fell to Butt, Butt casually rolled the ball back to
Scholes, Scholes lobbed the ball first time onto Owen's feet, Owen tried
to go past Pochettino, he stuck out a leg and Owen went over, penalty.
In my opinion it was dive but Pochettino has only himself to blame for such
sheer stupidity. Beckham stepped up and HAMMERED past Cavallero.

Seaman launched a goal kick up to Heskey, he didn't make contact but took
Samuel with him, Owen brilliantly rolled Placente and got himself one on
one with Cavallero but shot wide. Folks that is WHY Heskey plays for
England. Scholes stung Cavallero's palms with a superb volley. England
then turned on the style. A brilliant one touch passing move ended with
Beckham shooting wide from 10yds. Then the move of the tournament saw
England put together 17 passes, Scholes with the final pass to Sheringham
who let rip with a right foot volley but Cavellero saved. England sat back
for the last 20 minutes or so. Pochettino had their only real chance of
the 2nd half with a header but Seaman was in the right place, and the ball
bounced off him to safety.

Man of the match? Take your pick. Opinions vary with most opting for
Ashley Cole followed by Rio Ferdinand. I would say Nicky Butt. 1-0 flatters
Argentina who were made to look very ordinary against a hungry, classy
England side.

Assist : Owen (won pen)

"There were certainly conditions in the match to tie. We did everything to
obtain that result but there were two different halves. The second half
was somewhat better than the first and in the first after that decisive
moment (penalty) I still thought that we had the chance to come back."
Marcelo Bielsa

"I am very pleased of course. It was very hard in the last minutes. We
were tired and they attacked a lot. We deserved to win the game and
we played for 70 to 75 minutes very good football.  It pleased me that
we played football for more than 45 minutes. We came out second half
and created some chances but did very well and played with a big, big
heart." - Sven Goran Eriksson

2 JUNE 2002

Batistuta 63

Veron headed helped on a throw in, a Nigerian throw in that is, Ortega
turned and hit a rising left foot shot which was tipped over by Shorunmu.
Ogbeche squared the ball for Okocha who was 30yds from goal. He took
out Sorin and Veron with a great dummy, dummied Sorin again with his
right foot then unleashed a left foot missile but Cavallero tipped over.
The trademark Okocha highlight. Yobo wasted a good chance from the
resulting corner. Batistuta headed wide from a corner with the goal at
his mercy. 

Early in the second half another terrible miss by Batistuta from another
Veron corner. Pochettino headed wide from another corner. Ortega
dropped a ball to Sorin, he controlled it on his chest and volleyed at goal
but Shorunmu saved. Two minutes later another corner but this time
Batistuta managed to score with a superb header from an acute header.
Crespo came on in his place as late substitute and also wasted a chance.

Shorunmu is the best 'keeper in this tournament so far. Both teams were
terrible at defending crosses.

Assist : Veron (corner)

Campbell 24					Alexadersson 59

Campbell headed in a Beckham corner with Swedish 'keeper Hedman
flapping at fresh air. A terrible mistake by Mills gifted Sweden the equaliser.
He chested down a cross and as Larsson ran in he tried to clear but only got
as far as Alexadersson who steadied himself then hit a shot to Seaman's
right and despite getting a touch he couldn't keep the ball out. Lucic went
close with a shot from the edge of the box and should have put Sweden in
front from a superbly weighted Larsson pass. Linderoth blazed over the bar
after a poor headed clearance by Ashley Cole. Owen dragged a shot wide
after cutting in from the left. Heskey had two half chances after moving
into attack alongside Owen. Larsson wasted a 100% chance in injury time
when he dragged his shot wide after Cole missed a long ball into
the box.

After making steady progress over the past 18 months Sven Goran Eriksson
took England back to the 'dark ages' - a reference by Gary Linekar to the
long ball game employed by England today. I find it hard to believe England
could possibly play worse than this.

Assist : Beckham (corner)

"I think they performed very well but I have some mixed feelings as we
created good chances in the second half so with a little bit of luck we could
have won it." - Lars Lagerback

"We played better first half and they came out very well in the second half
and created a lot of problems for us." - Sven-Goran Eriksson