THIS is the moment that England fans went wild as they celebrated Raheem Sterling’s winner against Croatia.
Jubilant supporters chucked pints in the air and hugged each other as the Manchester City winger slotted home the only goal of the game in the 57th minute.
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Gareth Southgate’s men had endured a first half of few chances as Phil Foden hit the post.
However, any lingering fears of an England demise were quickly allayed as Sterling put England in front following a great run from Kalvin Phillips.
The Leeds midfielder drove with the ball before cutting in and laying it off to Sterling, who expertly slotted home.
The goal had sent fans into rapture as grown men leapt into each other’s arms as England’s Euro campaign successfully got underway.
Gareth Southgate’s men had held out for a 1-0 win, avenging their heartbreaking 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia.
It sealed a perfect start as the Three Lions won their opening Euros match for the first time ever.
Fans are now edging closer to their prayers being answered and the team ending 55 years of hurt to bring football home for the first time since 1966.
Supporters inside Wembley erupted in cheers as they watched the Three Lions win their first-ever opening game in the tournament.
They had earlier drowned out a small minority who booed at players taking the knee.
The atmosphere was electric across the country today as excited fans draped in flags gathered together for the Three Lions’ first group game.
Supporters could earlier be heard under Wembley’s famous arch giving a roaring ‘Cheers’ to the Three Lions.
Choruses of ‘It’s Coming Home’ that were nervously whispered this morning became rousing renditions that echoed through the air as excitement reached fever-pitch.
Delighted fans told to come together as one and help make the beautiful game beautiful again stuck to their brief as they filled bars and pubs.
Today’s win also silenced critics who questioned today’s line-up – with both Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho left out of the squad entirely.
And Jack Grealish was left on the bench despite the Villa winger earning a spot in the starting 11 thanks to a successful season.
England last hosted a major tournament 25 years ago for Euro 1996 – one Gareth Southgate will definitely want to forget after missing a crucial penalty in the semi-finals.
But his young team being led out under Wembley’s arch combined with a 30C heatwave has put a smile on the nation’s faces after a devastating 15 months.
A year-long delay to the tournament due to Covid also means excitement simmering under the surface has now exploded across the country.
Fans have been urged to rally behind the troops, give Covid the middle finger and finally allow hope to cut through the bleakness of the pandemic.
The virus has dampened the tournament – with just 22,500 fans allowed in for the match today – but they still roared loudly enough for the missing supporters.
An official fan zone set up in London’s Trafalgar Square eas attended by 750 key workers invited to to watch the match on a big screen.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the excitement of the Euros was needed after “the darkness and trauma” of the pandemic.
Speaking at the official fan zone, he added: “We’ve invited our amazing key workers to thank them for all they’ve done for our city.
“They’ve gone above and beyond over the last 18 months … this is our way to thank them.
“You can tell how excited I am I’m one of the first people here … bring it home. It’ll be nice to see people face to face, facial expressions, body language.
“The best thing about football is that it brings people together.”
Addressing the England team directly, he said: “To Gareth (Southgate) and the entire England squad, London is behind you. Bring it home.”
Other fans flooded Box Park in Croydon and Wembley to watch Our Boys throughout the tournament.
VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research reckon £300million will be spent in pubs and restaurants.
Fans will also down a whopping 50million pints and eat their way through 30million burgers and 20million sausages.