World Cup 2010
Match Reports

Nigeria 0 England 0
World Cup Finals - Group F
Osaka, Japan - Wednesday 12 June 2002

Not exactly the perfect way to go into the next round of the World Cup, but this draw took England into phase 2 of the competition in second place in group F. Eriksson made one change to the line-up from the team which played Argentina five days earlier, replacing the injured Owen Hargreaves with Trevor Sinclair.

England won a corner in the 11th minute of play, and had a good chance to score when Nigeria's goalkeeper raced off his line, but Ferdinand could not put the ball in the net. Nigeria were threatening a number of times but England's defenders managed to thwart the attacks. Good play came from England in the 18th minute when Danny Mills put a nice cross into the middle of the field from the byeline, but Heskey's shot was saved by Enyeama.

Beckham tried one of his long shots in the 20th minute, but Nigeria's goalkeeper stopped the shot. Then Nigeria came back at England through Aghahowa but Ferdinand made a good tackle as the Nigerian tried to shoot.

Michael Owen made a good run into Nigeria's box, beating one defender but his shot was deflected out of bounds and a goalkick was mistakenly awarded to Nigeria by the referee. England's captain, Beckham, played a lovely ball into the box but unfortunately neither Heskey nor Scholes could get their head on it. Owen collected the loose ball and made a shot at goal, but a defender was in the way and the ball fell to Nicky Butt who's shot went blazing over the crossbar.

Paul Scholes was unlucky not to score from a shot 25 yards out from Nigeria's goal, two minutes before half-time, but his shot was punched away by Enyeama to the left post and rolled to safety for Nigeria.

There were no changes to the line-ups during half-time. England start the second period applying pressure again, but Aghahowa tried to spoil the fun by setting up a shot at England's goal but both Campbell and Mills stopped him. With almost an hour on the clock, Owen was inches away from scoring the first goal of the game, but missed the target.

Teddy Sheringham, who replaced Heskey in the 68th minute, could have put England ahead fifteen minutes from full-time, but his shot went sailing over Nigeria's net. He then had another shot which went just wide of the net.

Nigeria appealed for a penalty in the 83rd minute when Danny Mills took down Aghahowa but the referee waved for play to continue.

England were unable to break through Nigeria's defence, a country who were already eliminated from the World Cup before the game. However, the draw was good enough to see England into the next round after Sweden and Argentina tied their game, resulting in England finishing second in their group (Sweden finishing top) and setting a fixture up against Denmark three days later.


Enyeama, Yobo, Okoronkwo, Udeze, Christopher, Sadje, Okocha, Opabunmi (Ikedia 86 mins), Akwuegbu, Obiorah, Aghahowa.
Subs Not Used: Adepoju, Afolabi, Babayaro, Ejide, Ejiofoi, Kanu, Lawal, Ogbeche, Shorunmu, Utaka, West.

Seaman #1, Mills #2, A Cole #3 (Bridge 84 mins - #14), Ferdinand #5, Campbell #6, Beckham #7, Butt #21, Scholes #8, Sinclair #4, Heskey #11 (Sheringham 68 mins - #17), Owen #10 (Vassell 77 mins - #20).
Subs Not Used: Brown #12, J Cole - #19, Dyer - #23, Fowler - #9, James #22, Keown #15, Martyn #13, Southgate #16. (Full Squad)

Match Details

Referee: Brian Hall (USA)

Attendance: 44,864