Thousands of Croatians late on Thursday celebrated with euphoria in the country’s streets and squares after their team’s 3-0 victory over Argentina powered them into the World Cup last 16.

“Croatia is in a trance!” commented the influential Jutarnji List daily paper in its online edition, showing photos of delighted fans celebrating throughout the country. Many of them were dressed in Croatia’s red and white shirts and waving the nation’s flag.

“Euphoria will certainly last until the early morning hours,” the paper added. “The magnificent victory of the ‘Fiery Ones’ is celebrated in the whole of Croatia.”

The Sportske Novosti daily noted that the “whole world concluded the same – Croatia smashed Argentina!”

On a warm summer night, several thousand people watched the match on a giant screen above an improvised stage in the Zagreb main square, singing patriotic songs and lighting flares.

“We were better the whole match and Messi was invisible,” Marijan Baric, a 19-year-old student who watched the match with his two friends, told AFP.

Fireworks could be heard in the capital after the victory.