German victory means French next up for Three Lions.
After victory over Japan, England will now face a tough test in their FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday evening.
The French lost to Germany in the Group A decider and also had their goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz sent off in their 4-2 defeat.
Kerstin Garefrekes opened the scoring for Germany in the 25th minute and Inka Grings netted in the 32nd minute to seemingly put the game beyond doubt.
But half-time substitute Marie-Laure Delie pulled one back for France in the 56th to give Les Bleues hope, although when Sapowicz brought down Fatmire Bajramaj in the area, Grings stepped up to slot home the penalty and put Germany 3-1 up.
France, to their credit, battled on with ten players and Laura Georges gave them hope to set up a grandstand finale with 20 minutes to go. Celia Okoyino da Mbabi finally made the game safe when she scored in the 89th minute for Germany to seal an enthralling victory and set up a Quarter Final clash with Japan.
Earlier in the evening Hope Powell's side had already progressed into the last-eight as Group A winners with goals in each half capping a brilliant win over Japan.
England needed just a draw to qualify but sublime strikes from Ellen White after 15 minutes and Rachel Yankey 25 minutes from time sealed a superb win to set up the knockout showdown with the Group A runners-up this weekend.
England have grown into this tournament and will be a tough nut to crack in the last eight, with this victory enough for Powell’s side to top the group.
Japan coach Norio Sasaki named an unchanged line-up, while Powell rested captain Faye White and midfielder Fara Williams, who both came into the tournament after recently recovering from knee injuries.
And the gamble paid off in style as England asserted themselves over Sasaki's side, with White's sensational volleyed lob on the quarter hour mark setting Powell's ladies on their way.
Yuki Nagasato almost equalised just after the break but squandered her chance and she was made to pay as substitute Yankey's beautiful chip made the game safe.
Elsewhere, two dramatic late goals in the dying minutes denied Mexico their maiden victory on the world stage, as New Zealand claimed an unlikely draw.
Both sides have exited the tournament at the group stage but still put on a thrilling show and Mexico seemed destined for a morale boosting win when Stephany Mayor scored on two minutes, before Maribel Dominguez struck on the half hour.
But New Zealand secured their first ever World Cup point when first Rebecca Smith pulled one back in the 90th minute before Hannah Wilkinson scored four minutes later to cap a stunning comeback.
And finally, it was the end of the road for Canada and Nigeria in the night’s other game. Both teams ended their tournament with a hard fought match and Perpetua Nkwocha’s goal was enough for a 1-0 win for Nigeria.