Fans praised manager Gareth Southgate's intuition and the squad as they marched to a solid start to the tournament.
"Gareth (Southgate) made the right choices. I'm really happy with the team. Great performance from the lads. Hopefully, we can bring it home this summer, you know what I'm saying, mate!" one fan, Rhys Brown, told Reuters.
"It's a great day to be an England fan. Just amazing, do you know what I mean? Just a really solid performance. I loved every second of it," another fan, Joel Hall, said.
Roared on by a noisy 22,500 crowd -- a quarter of Wembley's capacity -- they started full of bright intentions and put huge pressure on the visitors.
The only goal of the night came from Raheem Sterling who was a surprise starter after a flat end to the domestic season but a favourite of Southgate.
The game lacked the jeopardy of the teams' 2018 World Cup semi-final, won by Croatia, and losing on Sunday was no disaster for the Croats given the way the draw pans out.
However, it was a morale-boosting victory for England as they set off once again in search of their first title since 1966.