England fans given plenty to cheer about with 6-1 victory over Panama

PA

England's supporters beat the heat as the Three Lions booked their place in the last 16 after a fiery-tempered World Cup group game.

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium was a cauldron of noise throughout as the national team powered to a 6-1 win over debutants Panama.

The mercury peaked at 32C in the Russian city, more than 250 miles east of Moscow, but the team and the fans showed little sign their energy was being sapped.

England fans at Russia World Cup 2018
England fans at Russia World Cup 2018

While the midges that plagued the team during the previous match against Tunisia in Volgograd were notable by their absence, there were more England fans in the ground than last time.

The Football Association said 2,080 tickets were sold through the official England Supporters Travel Club with an additional 1,680 sold by Fifa to fans with UK addresses, making 3,760 in total.

England v Panama fans in stand
England v Panama fans in stand

The stadium erupted when John Stones headed in the early opening goal and were in raptures ever since, singing "football's coming home" and "England's going all the way" on each occasion England had the ball in the back of the net.

Television pictures showed the trio of fans who make up the England Band, Steve Holmes, John Hemmingham and Steve Wood, all from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, celebrating wildly, instruments held high.

Whether through exertion or excitement, many replica shirts soon came off and were twirled around heads.

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Pockets of Panama supporters, who had little to cheer about for most of the game, were delighted to have opened their World Cup scoring account late on.

But there was a sour note, when a group of LGBT England fans were told to take down their St George's Cross with a rainbow stripe before the match.

Among them was Di Cunningham, 56, from Norwich, who co-founded the Three Lions Pride group.

Banner's been taken down by a supervisor "those colours not allowed in the stadium"

-- 3LIONSPRIDE ????????? (@3Lionspride) June 24, 2018

Their account tweeted: "Banner's been taken down by a supervisor 'those colours not allowed in the stadium'."

The flag was later reinstated shortly afterward and was captured on television cameras as England celebrated a goal.

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