This was exactly the performance England needed to show the world that they are a side capable of winning the World Cup this summer. After a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Romanian's earlier in the week this result will boost the players as they go into the next round to face Argentina.
England fans had been begging for Beckham and Owen to start the final group game, rather than come on from the bench. They got their wish as Beckham took his place in the starting line-up replacing David Batty, while Owen got into the side ahead of Sheringham. With the absence through injury of Southgate, Gary Neville started again in the defence.
After only a few moments of play, England looked to be in a positive mood, and rather than going for just the draw they needed to qualify for the second stage of the tournament, they showed signs of determination and ability to win the game.
Paul Scholes had England's first shot of the evening but Mondragon cleared away the danger. He was also involved in England's next serious attack when he played the ball to Anderton. The Tottenham Hotspur player, who is becoming a dominant figure in Hoddle's team, crossed the ball to Owen, but the youngster's volley went wide.
Colombia's Preciado shot from 25 yards in the fourteenth minute but it caused no problem for Seaman as the ball went high and wide from the net.
Then Graeme Le Saux had the opportunity to put England ahead, on 19 minutes, but his connection with Beckham's cross went wide of the target.
Just short of the half-way mark in the first period of play, England took the lead through Darren Anderton. Owen created the goal when he crossed the ball passed a number of players in the penalty area, finally meeting Anderton who powered the ball into the top corner of Colombia's net. In this crucial game England had impressively and deservedly taken the lead.
England were now brimming with confidence and had numerous attacks on Colombia's goal. Then Ince was fouled by Preciado. Beckham took the free kick from 25 yards and as Scholes broke up Colombia's wall, the ball flew through the gap and into the net. A magnificent goal, which meant that Colombia now had to score three goals to knock England out of the competition.
In the final 15 minutes of the first half England continued to plug away at Colombia's defence, although the South American's did have a few chances of their own, although were not a serious threat to England's defenders. England's players left the pitch at half-time after a great display for a deserved rest.
After an unsatisfactory performance for Colombia in the first half, they introduced three new players at the start of the second period. Serna, Preciado and De Avila were replaced by Valencia, Aristizibal and Ricard. These changes, however, had no bearing on the game.
England did not seem content to sit back and defend their lead for the next 45 minutes after the re-start. Scholes fractionly missed putting England three goals ahead, after meeting Anderton's cross his volley went wide of the left post. Then Campbell made an excellent run from deep in England's half, beating man after man from the opposition, but he was finally successfully tackled by Palacios but the ball went to Owen who went close to putting the ball into the far corner.
After 73 minutes of play Hoddle made his first substitution, taking off Scholes and putting on McManaman for his first run of the World Cup campaign. He also put on Batty for Ince in the final minutes, after the Liverpool player was slightly injured, and Rob Lee replaced Anderton.
In the last fifteen minutes or so of the game, Colombia's goalkeeper, Mondragon, denied Owen, Shearer and Adams. England it seemed were determined to put on a great show. However, the third goal did not materialise and the score of 2-0 stood at the final whistle, and England advanced to the second round and to St Etienne.
Mondragon, Palacios, Bermudez, Cabrera, Moreno, Serna (Aristizabal 45 mins), Lozano, Valderrama, Rincon, De Avila (Ricard 45 mins), Preciado (Valencia 45 mins).
Subs Not Used: O Cordoba, Calero, I Cordoba, Bolano, Estrada, Perez.
Seaman #1, Campbell #2, Le Saux #3, Adams #5, G Neville #12, Ince #4 (Batty 83 mins - #8), Beckham #7, Anderton #14 (Lee 80 mins - #17), Scholes #16 (McManaman 74 mins - #11), Shearer #9, Owen #20.
Subs Not Used: Flowers #22, Martyn #13, Keown #18, Southgate #6, Sheringham #10, Merson #15, L Ferdinand #19.
England Scorers: Anderton (20 mins), Beckham (30 mins)
Colombia Cautions: Serna, Aristizabal, Bermudez
England Cautions: Scholes, Shearer
Referee: A Brizio Carter (Mexico)