Inspired by captain and set-piece expert David Beckham, England humiliated Denmark 3-0 on Saturday in Niigata of Japan, sending the conquerors of defending champions France packing up home.
The Manchester United midfielder delivered a curling corner from the left that defender Rio Ferdinand headed for the goal in the fifth minute. Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen fumbled the ball, which rolled across the goal line.
Denmark suffered another blow two minutes later when key defender Thomas Helveg was stretchered off with a head injury and replaced by Kasper Bogelund.
Michael Owen broke his goal drought of this tournament in the 22nd minute as he left-footed it home from a close range followinga 1-2 pass combination by Trevor Sinclair and Nicky Butt.
Rooted for by some 10,000 England fans and thousands of Japanese supporters wearing England colors, the burly striker Emile Heskey extended the score to 3-0 in the 44th, converting a low shot from 18 meters off a Beckham pass.
Beckham almost put his name on the score sheet when he fired a powerful strike outside the penalty area in the 57th minute, whichSorensen tipped over the bar.
England will take on the winner of the Brazil-Belgium match in Friday's quarterfinals. Brazil and Belgium play Monday in Kobe, Japan.
Denmark striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, who has four goals in the finals including one in his side's 2-0 victory over France, playedfull time despite a groin injury. Midfielder Stig Toefting also started with a foot injury.
Denmark had beaten England in 1983, their only victory in 14 internationals since 1948.
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said maybe a 3-0 win was too much but England played good enough football to earn their spot inthe quarter-finals.
"I think we deserved it. We played good football in the first half, maybe we were a little bit lucky, maybe 3-0 is too much," hesaid. "But anyway we won it and we are in the quarter-finals."
Asked about the prospect to playing Brazil, he added: "I think Brazil, how they are playing at this moment, they are one of the favorites. Many favorites already went out ... so Brazil is maybe one. So we'll see."
"Now we have six days before the next game. We're trying to rest, recover."
Danish coach Morten Olsen blamed the loss on defensive miskates.
"Just before the half, we made a mistake and the game was over.You can't make back three goals against England. We played a good game, but we made some mistakes."