It was the Battle of Britain: pubs were booked up, beers were chugged. Politicians were tweeting their most uncomfortable suit-and-pint pictures. In London, fans flooded to Boxpark in Croydon to celebrate in the best way they know how: armpit to armpit, with a red cross scribed over their nose, to watch the match on the big screen.
There wasn’t much to cheer in the first half– no goals, no Grealish. But two consecutive England goals early in the second half sealed the deal for many fans. For Wales, it was a disappointing end to their first World Cup appearance in more than 60 years. And yes, perhaps the chance of progressing to the next round wasn’t high, but even one goal would have been a good excuse to rip off the dragon t-shirt and drench each other in overpriced Carlsberg.
The Qatar World Cup has been met with a stream of controversy since its announcement, with many fans opting to boycott the tournament due to human rights abuses in the region. Days before the tournament began, all alcohol was banned in the stadium – to the confusion of FIFA sponsors Budweiser. But back in South London, it was coming home. It was raining beer. The defeat means the England will now play Senegal in the last 16 this Sunday.
VICE photographer Aiyush Pachnanda was there to capture the celebrations.
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