England makes round of 16

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Ap_englandnigeria.jpg' class='caption'> England through to the round of 16 after a goalless draw with Nigeria.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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England is through to the round of 16 after a goalless draw with Nigeria. The latter has already been eliminated from the World Cup. England needed only a draw in the Group F finale which it got, though it probably deserved a victory given the way the team played. It finished second in the group (five points) with Sweden finishing tops (five points) after a 1-1 draw with Argentina. England will now take on European rival Denmark. It defeated Argentina 1-0 and drew 1-1 with Sweden in its other group games. Nigeria had however lost its other two group matches. Four years ago, England reached the final 16 but was ousted by Argentina. In the round of 16, Sweden faces African newcomer Senegal, which finished second in Group A. Denmark won Group A and its match against England will be its first showdown in the World Cup finals. England had its best second-half chance in the 71st when Ashley Cole centered the ball from the left to Michael Owen who flicked it on to substitute Teddy Sheringham, who then shot high from 8 metres. England had several chances in the first half. It had its first serious chance in the 19th minute when Emile Heskey directed a 6-metre shot into the arms of Nigerian 'keeper Vincent Enyeama. In the 35th, Owen broke in from the right side with Nigeria's Isaac Okoronkwo deflecting Owen's angled shot from 8 metres. In the 41st, Owen, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt all were in scoring spots but failed to get off clear shots. In the 43rd, Danny Mills drove a 20-metre just wide. In the 44th with England pressing, Scholes shooting from 20 metres forced Enyeama to make a diving save as he deflected the shot with his right hand that had the ball bounding off post to his left. Nigeria had its best chance in the 31st when England 'keeper David Seaman struggled handling Jay Jay Okocha's free kick, deflecting it just wide of the post to his right. Benedict Akwuegbu also tested Seaman with a sharp-angled shot from point-blank range later in the half. Trevor Sinclair started at the left midfield spot for England as a replacement for injured Owen Hargreaves. For Nigeria, Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu was sidelined with an ankle injury he suffered in the first game. Enyeama replaced Ike Shorunmu in goal while Efefobore Sodje, Akwuegbu, James Obiorah and Femi Opabunmi all came in. Lineups:Nigeria: 22-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo, 5-Isaac Okorononkwo, 10-Jay Jay Okocha, 14-Ifeanyi Udeze, 15-Justice Christopher, 16-Efefobore Sodje, 17-Julius Aghahowa, 18-Benedict Akwuegbu, 20-James Obiorah, 23-Femi Opabunmi (7-Pius Ikedia 86) England: 1-David Seaman; 2-Danny Mills, 3-Ashley Cole (14-Wayne Bridge 85), 4-Trevor Sinclair, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 6-Sol Campbell, 7-David Beckham, 8-Paul Scholes, 10-Michael Owen (20-Darius Vassell 77), 11-Emile Heskey (17-Sheringham 68), 21-Nicky Butt Referee: Brian Hall, United States

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