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   June 12, 2002 | 1545 IST


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Beckham: We're building momentum

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Captain David Beckham believes England are building momentum after Wednesday's draw with Nigeria booked a second round place at the World Cup and says an evening kick off in the next match will help.

"We are building momentum now," said Beckham after a goalless draw with the Nigerians. "The back four were excellent throughout the game. We were quite comfortable. We had quite a few chances but didn't take any of them, but we're happy.

England now face Denmark after finishing runners-up behind Sweden in group F following the Scandinavians' 1-1 draw with Argentina in the other group game being played simultaneously.

Asked about England's chances against the Danes, Beckham said: "It's a big game once you get through the group. You know that's when the games start heating up but, we have got an evening kick-off and maybe that will be better for us."

England face Denmark in the Japanese city of Niigata with an 8.30 p.m. (1130 GMT) kick-off that will be a welcome change for the players from the heat and humidity of the afternoon.

"It was very humid out there today so we are very pleased to have come away from the game with the result and go through the group," said Beckham.


"It (the Nigeria match) was obviously going to be a different game to the Argentina game. We've gone out there, we've done the job and we're through the group."

England beat Argentina 1-0 in their second group match after a 1-1 draw with Sweden in their opening game.

Beckham said the England players were vaguely aware of what was happening in the other group F match on Wednesday.

"I heard the fans singing it was 1-0 to Sweden (against Argentina) during the game but it didn't matter what happened there as long as we got the right result."

Argentina equalised in the 88th minute but it was not enough to clinch a second round place. Sweden go through to play Senegal in the knockout phase, with Argentina and the already-eliminated Nigeria now left to make their way home.

With world champions France also out of the tournament after failing to score a goal and getting only one point in group A, Beckham says the competition is now much more open.

"There have been a lot of surprises in this World Cup so far and two of the biggest teams -- France and Argentina -- have gone out. It does open it up a lot and I'm sure there'll be a few more surprises on the way," he said.

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