Football Fans Watch England's First Match Of The World Cup Tournament

These Photos Capture the Moment Every Fan Lives For

One photographer witnessed the emotional rollercoaster of England's victory over Tunisia.

AT THE EDGE OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images AT THE EDGE OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL Throughout 90 hard-fought minutes, England had plenty of chances to put Tunisia away in its opening World Cup match, yet came up frustratingly empty. Photographer Alan Crowhurst was in Brighton, about an hour from London, amid a few thousand fans who had turned out to watch the game together on a big screen. Win, lose, or draw, he was there to capture the crowd's reaction. "I had my back to the screen so I could hear the commentary. At this point I was looking at the crowds through the viewfinder, watching their expressions." And then something happened. MAGIC HAPPENS Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images MAGIC HAPPENS With the score knotted 1-1 and with stoppage time underway, English fans who, a moment before, had seemed resigned to a draw, watched as a corner kick became a header to the far post and then, with a snap of his head, team captain Harry Kane sent the ball into the net for the winner. And the English fans erupted in unison, with the crowd, for the briefest of moments, acting as one.

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THIS IS OUR MOMENT Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images THIS IS OUR MOMENT Within seconds, the crowd, which had been perfectly and almost mystically in synch, starts to separate and rejoice in their own ways. EMOTIONS RUN OVER Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images EMOTIONS RUN OVER With chaos and colors reminiscent of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, members of the tangled crowd clutch each other in relief and disbelief and in the sense that they were part of something great and alive. SO VERY CLOSE Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images SO VERY CLOSE This picture, taken earlier in the match, portrays the crowd reacting as one, but to a near miss, as hands go over the head and cover the mouth. Crowhurst, with back to the screen and his focus on the fans, captures the essence of the fan experience: That unifying sense of belonging to a moment that is larger than ourselves.

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