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Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Can England go all the way?
Michael Owen scored his first goal of the World Cup against Denmark
England beat Denmark 3-0 in Niigata to set up a quarter-final clash with either Brazil or Belgium.

But are England good enough to win it?


First half goals from Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey gave England a comfortable win over an insipid Danish side.

England coasted in the second half with the English back four of Ferdinand, Campbell, Mills and Cole rock solid once more.

England's quarter-final clash will take place on Friday 21 June in Shizuoka.

Can England win it?

Have your say

The English team is developing the cohesion and understanding of a good club side and not just a collection of stars. This is the kind of understanding which will enable them to beat a collection of over-hyped prima donnas like Brazil.
Douglas Bowerman, Canada

Brazil v England - what a dream match. England are playing more and more like Liverpool and becoming very good at soaking up pressure and scoring goals with just a few but very incisive passes. Brazil can keep the ball which they are very good at but England will be looking for the quick breakaway and Michael Owen to score their goals.
Tony Long, Malaysia

England's problem is that they are a one dimensional team - Sweden and Nigeria figured them out and Argentina for the last 25 minutes. They need some creative spark to unlock defences but Brazil will find them out.
Michael Cronin, Ireland

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No matter what happens in the other matches England will win the World Cup
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James Coles, Canada

This is the best chance we have of winning the cup, as so many people think we can't do it - we have nothing to loose
Robert Newman, England

No matter what happens in the other matches England will win the World Cup. Beckham is an excellent captain and Sven an excellent leader. With their guidance England will go all of the way!
James Coles, Canada

Whether it's Belgium or Brazil, the biggest problem England will face in the next game is the temperature. If they can deal with the heat, then they don't need to fear any team.
Andy Jones, England

England have done amazingly well so far but I just have that feeling that their luck is going to come to an end next match. However, since we beat Argentina, the Brazilian TV pundits have been hailing England as one of the firm favourites of the tournament and certainly don't see them as a walkover for their national side.
Katherine, Brazil

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England gave away possession too cheaply and easily against the Danes
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Fiifi Caiquo, Ghana

England have put together the best team since Italy 90 but it is still too early to judge its capability. We will only know if England is the real thing against adversaries such as Brazil who, as many have already mentioned, have the worse defence of the remaining squads.
Mario Treglia, Japan

England gave away possession too cheaply and easily against the Danes. Brazil will punish such play.
Fiifi Caiquo, Ghana

England lucky? You create your own luck. The sign of a good side is that they win games even if they play poorly, and only letting in one goal (even that was down to an error) against four teams such as Sweden, Argentina, Nigeria and Denmark is a great achievement.
Simon Hughes, Great Britain

If Brazil beat Belgium, I think they will reach the World Cup Final. Brazil have more talented players (i.e. Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos) and England only have Owen and Beckham.
Nevison, Brazil

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We defended too deep in the second half
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0racle, England

Brazil may be strong in attack, but they are fragile and clumsy at the back. England are strong in defence, good going forward. Should England get past Brazil, they will go all the way and win it. After all, England have beaten Argentina and Denmark (who beat France 2-0). If you want to be the best, you got to beat the best.
Kevin Nguyen, England

The first half was great on Saturday. England attacked well, scoring three great goals. However, as is the new fashion for England, we came out for the second half like a different team. We defended too deep, waiting for Denmark to attack instead of trying to get more goals.

If we are to win the World Cup we can't relax back after we get the lead and hope for the best. We need to keep the attacking going for 90 mins, not just 45!
0racle, England

Brazil have a suspect defence, and if we don't sit back (as we have done in the second half of every match so far) then we will have a fair chance. However, if we sit back and invite Brazil on to us, they will score.
Peter de Silva, England

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England have looked generally poor - slow, unimaginative and too willing to punt the ball forward quickly
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Sven's bald wig, UK

Do people really believe that England will beat Brazil? Never underestimate the team that has reached the final of the last two World Cups, and has won the trophy four times.
Sabadore Coppola, UK

England have looked generally poor - slow, unimaginative and too willing to punt the ball forward quickly instead of pulling teams apart with their undoubted ability. Three-nil was hugely flattering, and a similar performance against Brazil will leave England severely bruised.

The World Cup is, however, wide open. A result against Brazil would leave England with an excellent chance of an appearance in the final, but giving away possession and sitting back is not the way to achieve this. Come on Belgium.
Sven's bald wig, UK

Some writers have made comments about Beckham's weaknesses, but his critics should remember that almost all of England's goals result from Becks' superb ability to find space to place the ball, allowing strikers to do their stuff. Becks works hard for the whole team and is a superb captain.
Mark, Leamington England, England

Well done boys, the country is slowly building up to a World Cup frenzy, and a belief is building that we can do it this time. We played well as a team today, and with each game, we are getting better and better.

Open Quote
Brazil, Italy and Spain seem far more likely to win it
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Pedro Ricardes, Italy

But why is everyone talking about Brazil like they don't have a team to play in the second round? Does everyone really think Belgium are that bad? And well Didn't Brazil struggle to beat a well organised, hard working Turkish team?

So why would anyone think that even if they did get through against Belgium, that beating a good England side would be so easy? With a defence as suspect as the Brazilians', our forwards must be licking there lips with anticipation! Come on boys, do us proud!
Ronnie Freer, England

The Danes were poor and the scoreline was very favourable to England. England have yet to prove that they can withstand more dangerous and lucky attackers than those they faced against Denmark.

Rio Ferdinand has played well but does not deserve the hype he has received. Brazil, Italy and Spain seem far more likely to win it. With Totti and Vieri the cup is coming back to Italy!
Pedro Ricardes, Italy

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Victory by a boring outfit like Sweden, England or Germany would be bad for the game
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Cynic, Australia

England could go all the way to the final, but will be beaten by either Italy or Spain. Nevertheless, I wish them all the best. Fowler could be started instead of Heskey, because the latter seems to be a little clumsy with the ball. Nevertheless, it was a very good performance.
Patricia, Uganda

Are England good enough to win it? No. Can they win it? Yes. Negative defensive sides seem to be prevailing in this tournament and there is no reason why this won't continue.

Neutral fans will be praying that a team with a bit of flair and skill, (i.e. Brazil, Spain or Italy) takes the title. Victory by a boring outfit like Sweden, England or Germany would be bad for the game.
Cynic, Australia

I have been impressed by the way England won over Denmark. It seemed an extremely easy match and we all know well that this was mainly due to the excellent performance of the English Team.

Brazil and Belgium will be very nervous about playing the English. It looked all too easy for England, and this normally happens only when a team is really superior!
Alessio Pierdominici, Italy and UK

Open Quote
It is now one of the most open final stages to the World Cup in years
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Di, England

I can't believe you only gave Emile Heskey 6 out of 10! What more does he need to do? Besides pushing Denmark's defence all over the pitch, his superbly taken goal, his last-ditch defending in the box and his cross that Fowler should have been quicker to, what else does the lad have to do to get people to recognise he is a valuable part of the England team? If Sven is such a master strategist, why does he persist with Emile? Because he's good! That's why!
Nick Price, England

It is now one of the most open final stages to the World Cup in years. We haven't seen the best from our boys yet, but with our solid defence and rising confidence further up the field, we can take on anyone!
Di, England

I think that Sol Campbell deserved 8/10 in the player ratings. In the first half he made some tackles that stopped the Danes from shooting. He also intercepted a perfect ball with a great header which would have probably been a goal. He is the anchor man at the back.
Oli M, England

If our defence continues to play the way they have been we will defeat Brazil. I thought Trevor Sinclair had a very good game today. He and Ashley Cole are beginning to forge a great understanding - bring on Brazil!
Ricky D, England

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England will be Brazil's first really decent opponents
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Maugan, England

Why do the majority seem to be writing off Belgium? Brazil aren't that great, and they haven't had too much tough competition yet.
Bill, England

I don't think the Arsenal defensive line is getting enough credit! Cole, Campbell and Seaman have been solid as a rock for England, along with my player of the tournament so far, Rio Ferdinand. Can anyone beat us on this form?
Andrew, England

England showed again what a solid professional unit they are in defence, not forgetting their many other great attributes. They do give away the ball cheaply at times, but taking risks has always been a part of the English game, and at last we can do this with true confidence in our defenders.

Whether we can repeat the performance against a free-scoring Brazil team, I don't know. We can rest assured though that England will be Brazil's first real decent opponents, and I'd prefer our defenders any day. Maybe even Belgium can do us a favour.
Maugan, England

Open Quote
England have had a lot of luck in their games, and they will need a lot more against Brazil
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Emov, Germany

Why is everyone chatting about Brazil? They have a very real chance of losing to Belgium. This is the weakest Brazilian side I've seen for 20 years, and now is England's time. I expect them to win the tournament.
Sean Garner, N Ireland

Rio, Michael then Emile - this is what it's all about. Even my wife caught World Cup fever this afternoon, she was jumping around chanting 'Come on England' like a lunatic. Now all I can say is 'Come on Belgium'!
David Wainwright, England

I don't see one team left in the tournament that can beat Brazil. England have had a lot of luck in their games, and they will need a lot more against Brazil. Don't forget that almost every Brazilian player is able to score a goal.
Emov, Germany

A lot of people have underrated the English team, but the boys have shown they are capable. If they maintain their current form I think they will go all the way.
Joseph, Canada

England have the ability to go all the way. They will probably face Brazil in their next game and Brazil's defence, to put it politely, is rather suspect. I think England can go all the way, you cannot sit on a lead against teams like Sweden, Brazil, or Spain.

Open Quote
We're three games away from glory - the most open World Cup for years is there if we want it enough
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Stuart Hainsworth, England

It should be fun to watch England play in this World Cup and they are one of the favourites as far as I am concerned. Defences win World Cups and that is why England have a great chance to win it all. Ferdinand has proven that he is one of the best defenders in the world.
Kemal, USA

Again England score first, and again Seaman Keeps a clean sheet albeit a lucky one. Butt is starting to shine, Mills and Sinclair are silencing their critics and Ferdinand is playing out of his skin.

I think that mistake by Mills against Sweden has set him on a mission - at times I think I am looking at Gerrard. The beauty of this team is that they can play better they are starting to peak at the right time.
Gary, Canada

We're three games away from glory - the most open World Cup for years is there if we want it enough.
Stuart Hainsworth, England

Open Quote
England's prowess has truly been solidified after this majestic performance
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Jamie Dear, England

I thought Beckham was pretty mediocre - certainly the worst England player, giving the ball away 80% of the time. I'm not saying he should be dropped because he's the best at set pieces in the world and we may need that against Brazil. But England carried him today.
Peter, England

I can't believe I am backing England, but what a performance! I guess I'll to swallow my French pride and hope for the best against Brazil. Well done England!
Louis, France

England's prowess has truly been solidified after this majestic performance; the like of which promises to be '66 all over again. If this continues we've every chance - come on lads!
Jamie Dear, England

Unbelievable, great, brilliant. I made the mistake of thinking the Danes were stronger than they really are. Congratulations England.
Dan Smith, USA

England always seem to play best against the better sides. Bring on Brazil! England have the defence to hold them and the spark up front to score - should be a great game.
Phil Redding, England

Open Quote
Will England win it? Yes with that defensive play and Sven's brilliant tactics it will go well.
Close Quote
Markus Fors, Sweden
9/10 for Nicky Butt? I think it is unfair to pinpoint him out as the best player on the field. Beckham, Butt, Ferdinand and even Mills were very solid throughout the full 90 minutes. Ferdinand for his solid defending, Beckham for his creativity and Mills for his defending and link play.
Michael, UK

England have not yet dominated any of their games. The second and third goals today came from fortunate breaks of the ball. Don't get carried away England, your midfield needs to step up a gear! Brazil 2 England 0.
Tom Crossan, USA

Good result for us against Denmark, but a better opponent would've torn us apart. We were careless with possession, Dyer spurned three or four opportunities to whip it in with his left foot (we need some quality on the left,) and Heskey was strong but too often caught off-side. Owen was quiet apart from his goal, the rest chipped in here and there, but we really need the whole team to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and take it to the opposition.

Open Quote
If injuries don't rob us of Scholes and Owen we have as good a chance as any of the other teams
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Matt Brown, US (Brit Ex-Pat)
Let's get behind the lads for the next game, and hope that Sven can tighten us up - With a little luck, this could be the year!
Steve W, In USA

Congratulations England. The English side proved their worth, outclassing Denmark in a one-sided match, probably the most convincing win in the cup so far, not mentioning Germany v Saudi. I will from this day on cheer for England - I believe you deserve this!
Mads Josephsen, Denmark

England are showing time and again that when it comes to matches they need to win (e.g. Germany in Munich, Argentina, and now Denmark) they are capable of beating any team in the world in a one-off match. And that includes Brazil! The back four was solid today against a good attacking side, and our attackers were much more clinical in front of goal, which we will need to be to beat Brazil.
Guy McCrea, England

Why can we not go on? Apart from the dismal Sweden game, England have been on top form....
Tiggs, England

If injuries don't rob us of Scholes and Owen we have as good a chance as any of the other teams. Every game from now on is like an FA Cup game, it's there to be won by the team with most drive and motivation. Come on England!
Matt Brown, US (Brit Ex-Pat)

Open Quote
"Leaving on a jet plane, how sad it is to be a Dane!"
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Wayne King, Canada, ex-pat
Yes, of course England can go all the way. Any team with a lot of skill and luck can win this year. England have the skill but do they have the luck?
Mark E, England

Get real. Brazil will kick them out.
Bonnie Mitra, USA

If Brazil beat Belgium, England will need to bolster the right side of their midfield and lend support to Danny Mills in the right-back position. Most of Brazil's chances and goals have come from their left. If we do that and win, then we can go all the way.
Joseph Bloggs, England

Playing so close to their own area may beat the Danes but it won't do against Brazil's ball players. And their luck has to run out soon!
Steve Turpin, Spain

Complete vindication for stepping down a gear on Wednesday against Nigeria. Cheap entertainment on Wednesday could have meant expensive disappointment on Saturday. I predict an Owen hat-trick against Brazil and the final settled by a Beckham set piece. Come on England!
Mark Kent, England


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