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England, Ecuador And Germany Advance To 2nd Round

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England, Ecuador, Germany advance to second round of World Cup

June 15, 2006

NUREMBERG, Germany (Ticker) - England, Ecuador and host nation Germany have advanced to the second round of the World Cup. Sweden hopes to join them soon.

Late goals by Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard helped England post a 2-0 victory over World Cup debutant Trinidad & Tobago and become the first team from Group B to progress.

It seemed at first that not even the return of star striker Wayne Rooney would inspire England to a win over World Cup. But Crouch scored with seven minutes left and Gerrard, who missed the 2002 World Cup due to injury, added a second goal in stoppage time.

"We showed a lot of patience," England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said. "It is difficult to play a team with nine or 10 men behind the ball and they had discipline. If we had taken our chances it would have been a different match. I'm extremely happy with the result."

Rooney, who was medically cleared to return after missing 6 1/2 weeks due to a broken foot, came off the bench in the 58th minute as England struggled to break down its Caribbean opponent, which battled with 10 men to hold Sweden to a scoreless tie in its opening game.

"I'm relieved the saga of Rooney is over," Eriksson said. "We have talked about it every day. We are fed up with it. It's over and that's very good. He did very well when he came on and he can only be better and better."

England (2-0-0) plays Sweden (1-0-1) in its last group game on Tuesday. Trinidad & Tobago (0-1-1) plays Paraguay (0-2-0).

Freddie Ljungberg's last-gasp goal put Sweden in the driver's seat to join England from Group B in the second round.

Ljungberg, a midfielder for Arsenal, directed a header past Aldo Bobadilla in the 89th minute to give Sweden a 1-0 victory over Paraguay, which was eliminated after a second straight loss.

If Sweden avoids a loss in Tuesday's Group B clash with England, it will advance to the second round for the second time in a row.

"It's going to be a massive game against England because we both want to win the group," Ljungberg said. "It's going to be difficult because they are a good team but it should be a great game."

After an opening 0-0 tie with Trinidad & Tobago, which played the second half with 10 men, Sweden appeared to be on the verge of another scoreless draw.

But Ljungberg finally broke the deadlock following good work by substitute Marcus Allback.

Ecuador (2-0-0) advanced to the second round for the first time.

Goals from Carlos Tenorio, Agustin Delgado and substitute Ivan Kaviedes lifted Ecuador to a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in a Group A game.

"It's a day of celebration for Ecuador," coach Luis Suarez said. "We have never qualified for the second stage and this is a fantastic achievement for us. We haven't come to the World Cup just for the ride. We want to have a starring role and we now want more."

Germany (2-0-0) also advanced to the Round of 16 from Group A because of Ecuador's win.

Costa Rica (0-2-0) and Poland (0-2-0) were eliminated from the group stage for the second successive tournament.

Ecuador - in only its second World Cup - now faces Germany on Tuesday at Berlin in a game which will decide first place in Group A.

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I was sad to see Poland go, I thought they had a good, young team... the loss with Germany was such bad luck :evilcry:

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