A deserved 1-0 victory over Slovenia saw England avoid elimination from the tournament and move onto the last sixteen stage, where, as a result of Landon Donovan's goal in injury time, they will now face Germany (before also another old foe in the shape of Argentina in the quarter-finals should they progress).
It was a much improved England performance, with the two personnel changes - James Milner and Jermain Defoe - combining on the winning goal. England played with a far higher tempo and pressed much further into opposition territory, going close to adding a second on a number of occasions.
Whilst not having a stand out performance (6/10 was probably accurate) Gareth Barry's inclusion was an important one given that both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were able to be more involved in an attacking sense, with Barry deployed as a shield for the defensive line that on paper at least had the potential to be shaky.
A bigger test will face for England on Sunday when they face Germany in Bloemfontein, and specifically for Barry as he will go head to head with the highly touted (and reported City target) Mesut Ozil. Barry's ability to stifle the creative talents of Ozil will be one of the key match ups of the game, and given the likely tight nature of the encounter could well be a deciding factor.