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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 04:46 GMT 05:46 UK
Reporters' log: Supporters' joy
England fans are jubilant as Rooney and Gerrard earn their team a vital 3-0 win over Switzerland in Coimbra.

BBC News Online's Duncan Walker is in Portugal and Tom Geoghegan is in London to gauge supporters' reaction, and correspondents from across the BBC are logging their thoughts from the match.

DUNCAN WALKER :: THE STRIP, ALBUFEIRA :: 1935

England fan in Coimbra
The atmosphere in Coimbra and Albufeira is loud and happy
Less than half an hour after the football finished, the streets that had been so full of fans quickly emptied as they went off to watch the France game or find a drink elsewhere.

Some people decided to have an early night though, just in case there was trouble. Jan Arnold, from Milton Keynes, said: "We hope it stays as happy and light-hearted as it is. We're going off now because my grandson, who's nine is with us."

Police are still here, and mounted police have arrived but the atmosphere is a happy, calm one. Glen from Essex, said: "Everyone has had a couple of drinks and I can see it's necessary for them to be here."

JAMES PEARCE :: COIMBRA :: 1930

It has been an incredible and friendly atmosphere here with English, Swiss and Portuguese fans mixing together and watching the match on the big screen.

I saw two friends having a slightly drunken argument and that's all, out of thousands of people who have been here all day.

Of course the English fans are happier, but the reality is tournament organisers UEFA couldn't have asked for better scenes than we are seeing right now.

GAETAN PORTAL :: COIMBRA :: 1920

David Beckham's wife Victoria and son Brooklyn
The relief and jubilation followed a tense first half
There's a big happy crowd of around 2,500 at the big screen in Coimbra.

The band is on stage and everyone is celebrating the result, singing along to Three Lions, Vindaloo and the theme from the Great Escape.

Towards the end of the second half, seven vans carrying riot police with shields arrived. But there is no tension at the moment.

It is very boisterous and beery, but there is no trouble, it is a very happy atmosphere.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: TRAFALGAR SQUARE :: 1915

Steve Elliott with friends
The beautiful game meets ballet in Trafalgar Square
The car horns started dead on full-time and this was the signal to party. Trafalgar Square is traditionally the spot where London celebrates football triumphs but hundreds of opera and ballet fans were having none of this.

They sat patiently in front of the big screen, one hour before the start of Tchaikovsky's Onegin.

A dozen delirious England fans, fresh from the pubs, tried in vain to lift the atmosphere with a rendition of "In-ger-land" as they danced by the fountains. More and more bemused football fans arrived, to underline the clash of cultures.

Steve Elliott, 34, said: "We're going to wait for friends and maybe we'll crash the opera."

Reflecting on the match, he said: "England are going to go all the way to the final where they will get revenge on the French."

DUNCAN WALKER :: PARADISE BAR, ALBUFEIRA :: 1900

Back at Cafe del Mar, celebrating England fans conga-ed past Albufeira's bars and restaurants following the team's comfortable victory.

England fan in Lisbon
Roaring in celebration
These supporters had not been able to make the trip up to Coimbra but that did not stop them enjoying the result. Hundreds joined in the singing and dancing at the start of a night of partying.

The main street is so crowded with fans police have sealed it to traffic, and officers in body armour have moved into the area to keep an eye on the celebrations.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: HOLBORN :: 1750

There were more suits than football shirts at the Pitcher and Piano pub although the national anthem was greeted with unrestrained roars.

Pitcher and Piano interior
More suits than shirts in city bars
Early pressure from Switzerland frayed the nerves, compounded by the fact some couldn't see the screen. Rooney's goal made the bar erupt and the half-time round of drinks all the more enjoyable.

Barrister Sandeep Parma, 27, thinks England can now go all the way to the final: "It was a bright start bearing in mind the pressure they're under."

DUNCAN WALKER :: PARADISE BAR, ALBUFEIRA :: 1755

In the rush for the bar at half-time, fans are happy but nervous. "We don't really look on top of it, we're a bit nervous and we're just not solid enough," says Kyle Perry, from Wolverhampton.

Others agreed. "England always under perform and you never really know what's going to happen," says Stephen Smith, from Cambridge.

Many supporters were using the break to move on and investigate other bars. Others reached for their mobile phones to swap thoughts on England's performance with friends back home.

DUNCAN WALKER :: ESTRELA OZUL BAR, ALBUFEIRA :: 1725

As England go one ahead in the 22nd minute, shouts of "Rooney, Rooney" fill the bars.

The goal was exactly what everybody wanted to see.

"We have had a few nervous moments but this should sort things out. This game is ours now," said one fan.

DUNCAN WALKER :: ANCORA BAR, ALBUFEIRA :: 1700

Every bar in the centre of Albufeira is now packed with England fans jostling for the best view of the TVs and big screens.

It seems as if everyone is anticipating victory.

"It will be at least three goals for England but the Swiss may pull one back. They have to win. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about," says Chris Moxy from Manchester.

Police are keeping a very low profile. Two officers who are nearby, however, say everyone seems happy at the moment, they're just singing and having a good time.

"There was no trouble last night and we hope it stays that way," says one.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: COVENT GARDEN :: 1645

Sonny Cook with his mother
Sonny Cook, two, is quietly confident
Fans gathering at The Cross Keys pub are in very confident mood as the kick-off is only minutes away.

Two-year-old Sonny Cook, an Arsenal fan, shows no trace of nerves as he yells "Sking-land".

Roger Button, 43, is also optimistic: "I think three-nil because the French result could boost them and they will be really up for it."

JAMES PEARCE :: COIMBRA :: 1625

Cheering, shouting, dancing, singing - you name it, it is all happening at the temporary supporters' pitch.

Swiss fans
Swiss fans will need to be loud to be heard
Swiss fans are here as well. "It's going to be tough but we're confident," one says.

Asked if they would be heard above the chanting England supporters, his friend adds: "I doubt that, but we'll be behind our team and we'll do the best we can."

An Australian father has travelled with his son from Sydney. They have no ticket but he is optimistic about England's chances. "King David is going to win the cup," he says.

DUNCAN WALKER :: THE STRIP, ALBUFEIRA :: 1610

At Cafe del Mar, a singalong involving large numbers of England fans is well under way, the atmosphere full of anticipation.

England fans outside the Cafe del Mar, Albufeira
In full song at the Cafe del Mar
"It's brilliant. There's thousands of us here and in town every bar will be full of fans. It's just like being in England but boiling hot," says Scott Willoughby, from Sheffield.

His friend Lee Osborne has just paid four euros for a pint of beer, more than he would back home, but he says it's worth it as some bars are charging England fans 10 euros to get in.

DUNCAN WALKER :: THE STRIP, ALBUFEIRA :: 1545

Large numbers of lads in England colours, many with the flag of St George wrapped around their shoulders, are starting to gather in the bars to bag a good seat in time for the match.

The first chants of "England, England" can be heard.

Residents of Albufeira are hoping things will be calm whichever way the result goes. "We think they're a bit crazy and they drink too much but we know it's not all English people that cause the trouble," said Pedro Vorgues, 14.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: UPTOWN RECORDS, SOHO :: 1530

DJ Woody
The party has already started in London
With less than two hours to go, the tension is mounting and more football-clad fans are on the streets. DJ Woody, 29, is still working in Uptown Records but plans to knock off to watch the game in Trap nightclub nearby.

Asked his opinion on the England football anthem All Together Now, remixed by DJ Spoony, he said: "Vindaloo and World in Motion were the best football songs ever."

One of his customers is less kind: "It's terrible and he should stick to house and garage," he says. "It's like Pavarotti doing reggae."

DUNCAN WALKER :: ALBUFEIRA COURT :: 1510

It is a relatively quiet day at Albufeira's court. After a marathon 12-hour sitting on Wednesday, to decide the fate of 12 English fans accused of disorder, it took just a few hours to deal with 33 on Thursday.

All were given the option to go home and not return to Portugal within one year. They must leave statements of their version of events and could face trial at a later date, which they need not attend.

The large number of people present meant the court was closed to all but two members of the press. Some friends and family were also there, trying to find out what happened to those arrested.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: SOHO SQUARE :: 1445

For fans finding the stress all a bit too much, Soho Square is a popular choice to settle pre-match nerves. An art exhibition takes visitors' minds off the diamond formation and a statue of Charles II gives an injection of patriotism, as people lie down, read, or in one case, get a massage.

Trisha White and Emma Down
Soho Square is an oasis of calm for anxious fans
Trisha White, 34, a Manchester United supporter and gym manager says: "This park is very quiet today and I think people are working through lunch so they can see the football.

"I'm leaving work early to go home and watch it."

JAMES PEARCE :: COIMBRA :: 1430

Soccer fans are making the most of an astroturf football pitch provided by the authorities in Coimbra's "Fanzone" while they wait for the match. The English contingent, stripped to the waist in the blistering heat, confidently predict their own victory over the Swiss followers on the astroturf.

Matthew Booker from Kent and Andrew Furness from Fife
England fans are ready in Coimbra
Two fans dressed as David James seem equally sure Sven's boys will win later in a "hard-fought" game.

Only 24,000 England fans have tickets for the stadium, compared to 40,000 for the encounter with France, so many thousands are preparing to watch on a giant screen. The mood is one of excitement, with no signs of misbehaviour so far.

DUNCAN WALKER :: REEF SPORTS BAR :: 1420

The fact it is several hundred miles from the Algarve to Coimbra has persuaded many England fans to stay put. "I travelled up to Lisbon for the France game but I had tickets for that," says Martin Potter, a 29-year-old sales rep from Orpington, Kent.

England fans dressed as St George
Fans are red and white both on and off the beach
"The Switzerland match is further away and it's just not worth going only to see things on a big screen. I can do that here and the weather's better."

Others simply want to be in the Euro 2004 host country to soak up the atmosphere. "We flew into Faro this morning and only decided to come over last week. It's just a cheap weekend, it cost us 140."

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: CHINA TOWN :: 1410

Chinatown appears to be a football-free zone until, at the end of Gerrard Street, a young England fan walks past wearing a shirt bearing the same name. Kim Vaccari, 20, also has his face painted red and white and is draped in a St George's flag.

Kim Baccari
The loss to France was a confidence blow for some
The gap-year student, who lives in Earls Court, is searching for a venue to watch the match.

"I'm feeling excited, a bit anxious, but most of all just looking forward to it. The France game was agony and I hope there's no more pain today," he says.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: LEICESTER SQUARE :: 1345

Roland Minder
London's Swiss are optimistic

Not forgetting there are two sides in the big game, the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square was the next stop. On the tenth floor, Switzerland Tourism was busy preparing for the match which Swiss dignitaries will watch with British travel journalists in an attempt to promote the country.

Deputy director Roland Minder, 50, said: "We are all very excited because we're going to win. I have heard the British media taking the mickey out of the Swiss but having lived here for 23 years I've got the British sense of humour so I quite like it

"For my son it's more difficult but I think he will support England and my English wife is so annoyed with the British hooligans she wants Switzerland to win."

DUNCAN WALKER :: PRAIA DA OURA :: 1315

Down on the beach the England fans are easy to spot, with their football towels, replica strips and more than a few bright red backs. While some people are enjoying paragliding above the water, jet-skiing or playing football, most are simply lying out in the sun.

Paul Boswell and David Evans

Many have picked up the latest British newspapers and are concerned at how the violence of Monday and Tuesday is being reported back home. "I think it has been glorified," says Paul Boswell, 20, from Stockport. "Saying 400 people were involved is not right, there were 20 or 30 who were being violent."

Paul and friend David Evans, 21, are not looking forward to the game though. "We've messed up our flights and are leaving at exactly the same time as the game," says David.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: PICCADILLY :: 1300

A very patriotic looking Lillywhites is getting right behind the England team. The sports department store is awash with flags and the England shirts are selling faster than the German toilet rolls.

John Noon and Deborah Morrey
Trade is expected to pick up if England win
John Noon, 32, and Deborah Morrey, 36, both from Manchester, have braved the rush and bought a shirt and two pairs of tracksuit trousers before they head off to watch the game. "Two or three-nil to England," said John.

Lillywhites staff hope he is right because they say custom will pick up if England win.

TOM GEOGHEGAN :: SPORTS CAFE, HAYMARKET :: 1215

American soccer fans
The three fans were first to the bar
Five hours before kick-off and the cafe has opened its doors. Three die-hard England fans - with American accents - are first inside. The three students missed out on getting in when England played Brazil in the World Cup so wanted to make sure this time.

Nate Kinet, 18, originally from Chicago, said: "My friends think I'm crazy to like soccer and I hated it before I came here in 2000." All three predict a comfortable England win.

Manager Jane White predicts a full house of 600 customers who will drink enough pints "to fill an Olympic-sized pool".

DUNCAN WALKER :: ALBUFEIRA :: 1200

It is already approaching 30 degrees in southern Portugal and many England fans are making a beeline for Albufeira's wide sandy beaches. Others are enjoying a late traditional fry-up and looking forward to the game.

The town, which had a trouble-free night after violence in the early hours of Tuesday and Wednesday, is relatively quiet as many people have travelled for several hundred miles for the match in Coimbra.

Families with young children and small groups of lads are among the many happy holidaymakers. None seem at all concerned that England will do anything but beat the Swiss. "I think they're going to be angry after losing to France and it will be three-nil," says 13-year-old Ryan Atkins from Devon.





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