The England captain became the first Englishman to score in three separate World Cups with his bending free kick on one hour that Ecuadorian goal keeper Cristian Mora could only get his finger tips to.
They beat a terrible Ecuadorian team.
Just how a side can get into the final 16 of a World Cup and only contrive three shots on goal in an entire match leaves a lot of questions to be asked.
One has been answered, they are going home.
The South Americans who barely looked interested as their World Cup drifted away from them once Beckham scored, seemed to accept their fate.
There were few highlights in the dour second half.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard must wonder where his accuracy has gone after he blazed a wonderfully teed up shot from Wayne Rooney over the bar.
England march on
The England midfielder has had the most shots on goal of any player at the World Cup Finals and is yet to trouble the scorers.
The only chance that fell to the South Americans occurred in the 11th minute after an error by defender John Terry allowed Qatar based striker Carlos Tenorio to have a clear run on goal.
Only a late dive by recovering defender Ashley Cole saved a goal as the deflection from the Arsenal defender sent the ball onto the woodwork.
Neither side managed to produce any clear cut chances for their forwards.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney received little service as a lone striker while the Ecuadorian pair of Agustin Delgado and Tenorio were asked to do a lot of futile chasing and were largely anonymous.
Rooney shadowed by Giovanny
"the Shadow" Espinzosa
The busiest man on the pitch was Belgium referee Frank De Bleeckere who may need a replacement pea for his whistle after he blew it 37 times for fouls.
England will play the winner of the Portugal and Netherlands game which occurs in Nuremburg in two hours time.