'Bend it' Beckham lifts England to win
England captain scored off a free-kick from 25 metres to beat Ecuador 1-0.Schedule | Teams | Results | Photos | Gamesindia Updated: Jun 25, 2006 22:54 IST
David Beckham scored with a free kick in the 60th minute on Sunday to lead England to a 1-0 win over Ecuador and a spot in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Beckham sent in a curling free kick from about 25 metres that beat diving goalkeeper Christian Mora. England will face either the Netherlands or Portugal on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Beckham became the first Englishman to score in three World Cups - he converted a penalty kick against Argentina in Japan four years and curled in a free kick against Colombia in France in 1998.
The England captain, who had worn short sleeves in the first half, switched to long sleeves after the break. Shortly after the goal, he threw up on the field.
For an hour, the English aimlessly passed the ball, but the game then turned after Edwin Tenorio fouled Frank Lampard outside the penalty area.
Beckham planted the ball ever so carefully as four Ecuadoreans formed a defensive wall.
With expert precision, he got the ball over them. Mora, his cheeks painted with the colours of Ecuador's yellow-blue-and-red flag, dived to his right but could not stop the ball, which went in off the post.
Beckham ran wildly toward the centre of the field, hooking an arm around Ashley Cole.
While Beckham is the driving force of its offence, his goals have been sparse of late. It was just his 17th in 93 international appearances, and he ended a 13-match scoreless streak since his last goal on March 30, 2005.