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Saturday, June 27, 1998 Published at 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK


Sport: Football

England keeps France 98 dream alive

Farid Mondragon fails to get a finger on Beckham's free-kick

England beat Colombia 2-0 with an attacking performance to earn a second-round World Cup clash with Argentina.

Despite the assured win, England's hopes of avoiding the much-favoured Argentinians were dashed when Romania drew 1-1 with Tunisia to finish top of Group G.


[ image: Anderton shoots England into the lead]
Anderton shoots England into the lead
Darren Anderton and David Beckham were England's heroes with first-half goals as Glenn Hoddle's men ran the show from start to finish in Lens.

Colombia, who needed to win to pip England for the second Group G qualifying place, threw on three attackers for the second half.

But they failed to make an impression and only sloppy finishing and excellent saves by keeper Farid Mondragon kept the score down.

Anderton settled England's nerves on 19 minutes with his sixth international goal.

Beckham took centre stage

The Spurs winger lashed a dropping ball into the net after the defence failed to clear Michael Owen's cross.

Owen, in the starting line-up after coming off the bench to score in Monday's 2-1 defeat against Romania, missed a great chance to make it two four minutes later when he blazed over from close range.


[ image: Beckham celebrates his first England goal]
Beckham celebrates his first England goal
Graeme Le Saux also missed out when a long cross found him unmarked but he side-footed wide.

But Beckham, starting in place of David Batty, then took centre stage with his first goal for England.

The Manchester United midfielder drilled a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner, leaving Mondragon clutching thin air.

England continued to dominate in the second half.

Michael Owen sprinted away and teed up Paul Scholes whose first-time shot was pushed over.


[ image: Preciado challenges Ince]
Preciado challenges Ince
Then Scholes was inches wide with an overhead kick from Anderton's cross.

And with Colombia's defence torn open, Sol Campbell galloped through three tackles but Owen could not beat the keeper.

In a rare Colombian attack, substitute Hamilton Ricard was not far off with a long-range drive.

In the dying minutes, Owen went one-on-one with the keeper but had his shot saved.

Mondragon then punched out Shearer's fierce free-kick and blocked Tony Adams' follow-up in injury time.

Teams

Colombia: Farid Mondragon, Wilmer Cabrera, Jorge Bermudez, Everth Palacios, Antonio Moreno, Maurizio Serna (Victor Aristizabal, 45), Harold Lozano, Freddy Rincon, Carlos Valderrama (captain), Leider Preciado (Adolfo Valencia, 45), Anthony De Avila (Hamilton Ricard, 45).

England: David Seaman, Gary Neville, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Darren Anderton (Robert Lee, 78), David Beckham, Paul Ince (David Batty, 82), Graeme Le Saux, Paul Scholes (Steve McManaman, 73), Michael Owen, Alan Shearer (captain).

Referee: Arturo Brizio Carter (Mexico).

Click here to get the latest from the BBC World Cup 98 Website.





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