Santa hats were sent flying and England fans were left dreaming of World Cup glory after a comprehensive 3-0 win over Senegal set up a quarter-final tie with holders France.
A composed second-half Bukayo Saka finish rounded off another professional display, prompting a chorus of “football’s coming home” at the Croydon Boxpark in south London.
Will Monk, 38, from Lewisham, had been jumping and singing to the booming dance tracks that had been blasted out at the Croydon Boxpark just before kick-off.
Mr Monk, who works for an alcohol retail firm, said: “It is going to be a tough game. I think it will be 3-2 to England.
“I think Senegal are a good team with powerful players. They have good players and it will be a test, but I think we will nick it.”
Senegal supporter Herbert Ngassa, owner of the Ivory Bar and Restaurant in Deptford, south London, said his team “will not lose without fighting”.
Mr Ngassa is throwing a fan party at his venue, which is decked out in green, yellow and red decorations to match the country’s flags for the occasion.
Celebrations are set to continue into the early hours of Monday “regardless” of the score, he said, with spirits high among supporters despite England being the favourites to win.
“England are the favourites but all I know is Senegal will not lose without fighting. They will make it very difficult for England and if there comes a chance for that knockout punch, they will take it,” Mr Ngassa, who is also an NHS nurse, said.
Describing his plans for the evening, he said: “The place is completely colourful, we have special Senegalese foods on the menu, we have drummers, beers, soft drinks, champagne, everything you could wish for”.
A large crowd at the Boxpark in Croydon, many wearing Santa hats, cheered as England’s players walked on to the pitch for the knock out match against Senegal.
They boomed out the national anthem and booed when Fifa president Gianni Infantino appeared briefly on the big screen.
Security worker Hamdan Mann, 35, of Thornton Heath, south London, said: “I am confident. We gave got a good team and I think we are in with a chance.
“Every competition we get better and better.
“Man for man, we have got one of the best teams in the world and there is always a chance we can do this.”
Things got very noisy at the Croydon Boxpark in south London where Santa hats were thrown in the air in celebration of England’s goals.
Fans roared and rose to their feet as Jordan Henderson scored England’s first goal against Senegal.
They all then burst out in loud voice singing: “I am England until I die.”
And as England skipper Harry Kane scored the team’s second goal just before half-time, in one giant burst the England supporters all jumped to their feet, screamed and hugged.
The St George’s flags which had been draped over the shoulders of some fans were raised in the air in celebration.
Minutes before the final whistle blew, football fans were chanting “England, England” at south London’s Croydon Boxpark.
White confetti was released as the game ended with a 3-0 England victory against Senegal in the World Cup last 16.
The supporters erupted into loud cheers, jumped together in celebration and punched the air.
The Boxpark became the temporary headquarters of the Jude Bellingham appreciation society during the match.
Fans said they were impressed by how the teenager “worked his socks off”, particularly in the first half.
After the victory, which set up England for a quarter-final clash with France, security worker Hamdan Mann, of Thornton Heath, south London, said: “I am quite happy with that result.”
Mr Mann thought there would be more goals and that Jude Bellingham was England’s best player in the game He said: “He (Bellingham) was just dominating the ball. He was impressive and was making chances. It is that sort of intensity that I want to see from our players.”
England will need that intensity in their next match against France, Mr Mann said, because “we need to be more consistent”.