Sunderland's Jordan Pickford becomes the nation's hero

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Sunderland fans were euphoric as the city’s very own Jordan Pickford became the nation’s World Cup hero.

The goalkeeper saved a penalty to help England defeat Colombia in a nailbiting shootout.

Sunderland erupts at England take victory.

Sunderland erupts at England take victory.

Fans chanted their support for the former Sunderland SAFC player as they celebrated a hard-fought victory.

“Jordan Pickford - he’s one of our own” could be heard being chanted as hundreds of fans hailed the sportsman.

The Washington-born lad was definitely the hero of the hour as far as fans were concerned.

Fans packed into Low Row to watch the game on the big screen and there were plenty of ups and downs.

Monica Babij watches anxiously.

Monica Babij watches anxiously.

Supporters thought a win was in the bag after England scored and were devastated when Colombia pulled it back to 1-1. In the penalty shootout, Jordan Henderson had his effort saved but Colombia then hit the bar. Pickford then made a superb save and Eric Dier scored to send England through to the quarter finals on Saturday when they take on Sweden.

Monica Babij, 56, a life-long football fan, shed both tears of joy and despair at different times during the very tense game and said Jordan Pickford did an amazing job.

The Hendon woman, said: “I can’t believe it, it is the best day of my life so far - it’s just amazing.

“I love Sunderland and I love England and this is just fantastic. I cried all the way through - it’s the best feeling ever.”

Fans cheer with delight.

Fans cheer with delight.

Monica said she had her doubts that England could get this far, but believes they can now go on to lift the cup.

Lisa Smith from Fulwell, who was there with her six-year-old daughter, Lilian, said: “It is fantastic. We all loved it and will be back in the city on Saturday.”

John Renney, 43, from Southwick, said: “I feel a bit sick because there was so much tension in the game. But, it was a great result, they did really, really well.”

Fans also took to the Echo’s Facebook page to praise Jordon Pickford and Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson who was also in Gareth Southgate’s line-up.

This fan could not be happier.

This fan could not be happier.

Marie Pentland, said: “Well done Jordan. We’re so proud of you.”

Michelle Stockdale, added: “Fab game so proud of Pickford and the lads."

Colin Thomas Dawson, said: “I’m so pleased for Jordan (both actually). Brilliant. Well done lads.”

And, Janet Hornsey, said: “Incredible save. Well done son.”

The Fanzone, organised by Sunderland BID, will stage the England v Sweden match at Sunniside on Saturday at 3pm.

A fantastic end to a very tense match.

A fantastic end to a very tense match.

Sunderland mum Lisa Smith with two young England fans.

Sunderland mum Lisa Smith with two young England fans.