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England draw blank but go through

Beckham thanks England fans after the final whistle
Beckham thanks England fans after the final whistle  

OSAKA, Japan (CNN) -- England secured a 0-0 draw with Nigeria to go through to the second round of the World Cup and a tie against Denmark.

The point on a sticky afternoon in Osaka gave them second place in the so-called "group of death" behind Sweden, who won the group by drawing 1-1 with Argentina and sending the South Americans out. (Match report)

In a dull game, England created little in attack against a team already out of the competition. The closest they came was when Paul Scholes' drive rattled a post two minutes before the break.

"It wasn't comfortable because of the heat more than anything," said England captain David Beckham, who had a subdued game and twice failed to find his range from second half free-kicks.

"They had a few chances but our back four were excellent. We are happy we have got the draw."

England had to wait until the 19th minute before their first clear chance when 19-year-old keeper Vincent Enyeama smothered Emile Heskey's shot.

Heskey's strike partner Michael Owen was also kept quiet and when he did manage to break into the area his shot was blocked. Owen was substituted in the second half.

Beckham tries to tackle James Obiorah
Beckham tries to tackle James Obiorah  

As England's nerves began to fray, substitute Teddy Sheringham skied the ball over the bar when unmarked eight yards out.

At the other end, England keeper David Seaman had a lucky escape in the first half after he failed to hold Jay Jay Okocha's curling free-kick and Julius Aghahowa stabbed the loose ball wide.

Nigeria, who lost their first two games, made five changes including bringing in Enyeama for his third cap.

Striker Kanu was injured but Okocha captained the side, saying it would be his last international game.

England David Seaman; Danny Mills, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole; David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Trevor Sinclair; Emile Heskey, Michael Owen

Nigeria Vincent Enyeama; Joseph Yobo, Isaac Okoronkwo, Ifeanyi Udeze, Efe Sodje, Justice Christopher, Jay Jay Okocha, James Obiorah; Julius Aghahowa, Benedict Akwuegbu, Femi Opabunmi

Referee Brian Hall (USA)



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