HOPES on Wearside are running high for Euro 2012 success after England secured a point in their opening game.
Fans packed pubs to watch the Three Lions draw one-one with France.
Emotions were running high at Paddywhacks, in Sunderland city centre, when England took the lead though Joleon Lescott after 30 minutes.
However, celebrations were short lived and solemn faces soon followed when, nine minutes later, Lescott’s clubmate Samir Nasri hit an equaliser for France.
No more goals were scored, but punters seemed fairly happy with the outcome.
Mark Fitzsimmons, of Hastings Hill, said he has more confidence now than before the match. The 28-year-old said: “It was a good performance and a good result, and the important thing was not to lose.
“We need to push on from here and do well in the group stage ready for the latter stages, and I think if we continue playing like this we have a chance. I have more confidence now than I did before the game.”
Tony Quinan, 47, of Fulwell, predicts England have got what it takes to get through to the next stage.
“The match could have been a lot worse,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of easier games coming up, but you never know.
“I think we’ll win the next game against Sweden then we’ve got a tougher game against Ukraine.”
His brother Neale, 42, added: “It was the hardest game out of the group, so at least that’s out of the way and I’m happy with a draw.
“I think we will win against Sweden by one goal. Ukraine will be hard, but I think we’ll beat them by a goal too.”
He predicted that Spain will win the tournament.
Paula Wilkinson, 42, of Silksworth, said she will be following England throughout the tournament.
“I thought the game was a bit up and down, but was an even match between the two teams so they did well,” she said.
Stuart Wilkinson, 22, also of Silksworth, added: “It was alright, but wasn’t that good. Hopefully we’ll do better in the next game.”
On Friday, England take on Sweden at 7.45pm. On Tuesday they will play Ukraine, also at 7.45pm.
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