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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Fans kept on edge as England win
England fans in Nuremberg, including Liam Fox, back row third left
England fans in Nuremberg have been dressing for the occasion
Fans at home and abroad are breathing a sigh of relief after England won a nervous 2-0 victory in their World Cup match against Trinidad and Tobago.

Thousands of fans across the UK are thought to have left work early to watch the game, which kicked off at 1700 BST in Nuremberg.

And at least 50,000 England fans were in the German city.

The city's main square, Hauptmarkt, was teeming with fans, who well outnumbered the Trinidad and Tobago supporters.

After a goalless first half, England went into the lead thanks to a header from Peter Crouch in the 83rd minute. Steven Gerrard scored the second goal in the 90th minute.

The result means England have qualified for the second round.

Parts of Nuremberg have been virtually taken over by fans, with St George flags bearing the names of towns and teams such as Bognor Regis, Port Vale and Hull draped over the balconies of bars overlooking the square.

Sonja Peshkoff and Tracey Oliver
The fun has left Luxembourg-based Sonja and Tracey homesick

At the Fan Fest area near the stadium thousands of England fans gathered from midday to watch the match on a big screen.

The match began with the England supporters in full voice, but as the half went on and England failed to score irritation began to mount, according to the BBC's Tom Geoghegan.

By half-time it was the Trinidad and Tobago flags that were waving and their supporters making the noise.

But for the England fans the party started seven minutes before the end of the match.

As Crouch headed England in front, the tension that had built up among fans watching on the big screen near the stadium was replaced by unconfined joy.

The Trinidad and Tobago supporters and England fans shook hands and began the celebrations that are set to last well into the night.

Among the first to arrive ahead of the game, were England fans Sonja Peshkoff and Tracey Oliver, who both live in Luxembourg.

Tracey, 29, said: "It's been a lot of fun but it makes me homesick. Hearing all the England songs gives me goose-bumps."

The two sets of fans are mixing amicably - supporters of both teams played each other in a friendly cricket match on Wednesday.

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One England fan, Ged Whiting, 45, from Rochdale, told the BBC: "There has been a great atmosphere here, everyone mixing together - Germans, Poles and English.

"The English even cheered when Germany scored, to knock out the Poles. There's loads more English arriving today so we are going to make sure we get to the Fan Fest early."

Another, Liam Fox, 27, from Leeds, said the day had an extra significance.

He said: "I was supposed to be getting married today, but I was dumped. I was distraught but now I am looking forward to the game."

And 11-year-old supporter Danny Simpson from Hertfordshire said he was enjoying the run-up to his first tournament game even more than he expected.

Ged Whiting (left) Chris Bullen and Dev Whiting
Fans say the atmosphere in Nuremberg is friendly

He said: "It's been a great atmosphere, better than I expected. It's been good making new friends from all over the world."

Fareez Khan, 39, from Trinidad was among those from the opposing camp lapping up the pre-match atmosphere.

He said: "This is beautiful. I wish the whole world could be here then there would be peace and no war.

"The English are wonderful, they are soaking up our atmosphere and we soaking up theirs. It is an exchange of cultures, but I am sorry they are going to lose the game."

England's opponents Trinidad and Tobago - the so-called Soca Warriors - have also been attracting support from Scotland and Wales.

Fareez
Fareez and Danny are making friends

Several are based in Scotland, including striker Jason Scotland, who plays for Dundee, and goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, who leaves Dundee this summer.

Many Wrexham fans are also supporting Trinidad and Tobago as Dennis Lawrence, centre half for the Warriors, plays for the Welsh team.

The vast majority of England fans in Germany have been well behaved although there have been some arrests for minor infringements.

  • Tesco said sales of Caribbean food and drink had soared north of the border as Scots prepared to cheer on Trinidad & Tobago. Buyer Simon Dunn said: "We've seen huge increases in the sale of rum in Scotland by nearly 15% and the sale of mangoes has increased by a staggering 47% in the past two weeks alone."

  • England remain 6/1 joint second favourites with bookmakers Coral to win the World Cup after securing their place in the second round. Coral's David Stevens said: "The sight of Wayne Rooney back in action will give all England fans hope, and the World Cup dream lives on for the thousands of punters who have backed their team."

  • A television set was ordered for the British delegation room at a Brussels summit on the future direction of the European Union so Prime Minister Tony Blair could keep his eye on the match.

  • As the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Bill's second reading debate was cut short in the House of Commons, Junior Defence Minister Tom Watson thanked Welsh MPs - in English and in Welsh - for "concluding their business early" and ensuring "true-blooded Englishmen" could see the match.

  • British police said two England supporters had been arrested overnight for assault and another three arrested for throwing plastic bottles but later released - bringing the total number of English fans arrested during the tournament to 48, most of them for minor offences. Four are due to reappear in court.

  • The family of Marcus MacFarlane, 18, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash on the A4 at Isleworth hours after watching England's World Cup opening game, have appealed to the "common decency" of those involved and urged them to contact police.






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