England captain David Beckham admitted that his penalty in the 1-0 victory over Argentina here on Friday had laid to rest the ghosts from the 1998 World Cup tournament.

“It’s just unbelievable. It’s been four years, a long four years. It’s been up and down but this tops it off,” said Beckham, who was sent off the last time the two teams met in France ’98.

“Their antics, the keeper telling me where I could place the ball, (Diego) Simeone shaking my hand, but that’s the way they play.”

“The team was brilliant for 92 minutes,” he added.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said his side fully deserved their victory over a team, many people had tipped to win the tournament.

“I am very pleased of course,” said Eriksson.

“It was very hard the last 15 minutes. We were tired but we took our chances. “I think we deserved to win the game and for 70, 75 minutes we played very good football.

“It pleased me that we played football for more than 45 minutes. We came out in the second half and we created some chances,” he added.

“We did very well, we played with a big, big heart.” the England coach added.

“This win was very important after the first game. We have to work very, very hard to try to go further on,” added Eriksson.