Wayne Rooney immediately made a huge impact upon his return from suspension, scoring the lone goal in an England win over co-hosts Ukraine that propelled it to the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 on Wednesday, Manila time.
France also advanced despite a 0-2 loss to Sweden and will face world and European champion Spain in the last eight on Sunday.
The Czech Republic and Portugal clash on Thursday, and on Friday Germany takes on Greece.
Up next for England, which topped Group D with seven points from three matches, is the Italian squad that placed second in Group C.
Rooney scored just three minutes into the second half, heading in a low pass from team captain Steven Gerrard at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Later, a Marko Devic strike appeared to cross the goalline just before John Terry cleared what would have been an equalizer for Ukraine. Goalline technology is set to be voted on by Fifa next month.
Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko, who scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over Sweden, came on as a substitute in the match. The 35-year-old striker announced after the England match that he will be retiring from international football.
At the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv, France had an embarrassing game but still advanced with just four points from three matches. Ukraine and Sweden both wound up with three points. To top the group and avoid the Spaniards, the French needed to match England's win over Ukraine but instead got a beating from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Swedish side that had earlier been eliminated after losing its first two matches.
Ibrahimovic volleyed in low from a Sebastian Larsson cross in the 54th minute and Larsson added another goal in stoppage time.