Draw With Swedes Wins Group B for England

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No, not a win – that has been too much to ask for. The tie was enough for the English to win Group B at the World Cup.

Henrik Larsson tied it off a throw-in, getting the slightest touch to deflect the ball into the net in the 90th minute. England hasn’t beaten the Swedes since way back in 1968, a streak of frustration that is now at 12 games.

But the tie means Sweden has to face 3-time champion and Cup host Germany in Munich in the second round Saturday.

Joe Cole scored in the 34th minute, then set up Steven Gerrard’s go-ahead goal in the 85th for England. But the English couldn’t put away the Swedes, a problem that has lasted nearly four decades.

Marcus Allback had tied it 1-1 for the Swedes on a header in the 51st minute.

England plays Ecuador on Sunday.

PARAGUAY 2, T&T 0 This own-goal went in Paraguay’s favor and knocked Trinidad and Tobago right out of the World Cup. Brent Sancho headed a ball past his own goalkeeper in the 25th minute and Trinidad and Tobago never recovered.

Trinidad came into its final first-round match with slim hopes of advancing, needing a win against already eliminated Paraguay, an England win over Sweden, and help on goal differential. The Soca Warriors were unable to do their part and the rest didn’t matter.

After starting its first World Cup appearance with a promising and surprising 0-0 draw against the Swedes, Trinidad and Tobago finished last in the group with only that one point.

GERMANY 3, ECUADOR 0 Miroslav Klose scored twice to help the World Cup hosts beat Ecuador 3-0. The victory gave Germany the maximum nine points and first place in Group A. Lukas Podolski also scored for Germany, which last won its first three matches at a World Cup in 1970.

Even better than the prolific offense – eight goals in the first round – is a oncevulnerable defense that has not conceded a goal in two straight games.

Both teams were assured of advancing to the second round before the kickoff.

POLAND 2, COSTA RICA 1 Poland’s first 2006 World Cup victory again came too late. Bartosz Bosacki scored twice in a Group A game between two teams already eliminated from the tournament.

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