World Cup 2018: Despair as England lose semi-final

Summer 2018 will be remembered for a lot of things - but none as special as England's World Cup dream.

For the semi-final, millions of fans up and down the country packed into pubs, parks, castles and caravans to cheer on Gareth Southgate's men - writes bbc.com

There was a mass exodus of workplaces nationwide as people tuned in to one of the biggest matches in England's history .

Our reporters were out and about soaking up the atmosphere as a nation dared to dream.

But it was not meant to be, with England's lions falling to Croatia in extra time.

At Hyde Park in London, up to 30,000 fans saw their team dig deep and battle. The screening of the World Cup semi-final was the biggest in the capital since Euro 96.

There were also screenings at Nottingham Castle, Manchester's Castlefield Bowl and on Brighton Beach.

While at Croydon's Boxpark, there was an early-doors beer shortage as joy turned to anxiety and then to heartbreak.

In Newcastle, the joy of Trippier's early goal turned to stunned silence when the second-half equaliser went in. And let's not mention Croatia's second.

At Hyde Park, father and son Andrew and Luke Downing, 39 and 13, were first in and at the front of the stage.

"We've been hovering around since two o'clock and came in as soon as the doors opened," Andrew said.

He added that he had every confidence England's pride and passion would get them to the semis.

About 8,000 tickets were snapped up to watch the game at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester.

The city had gone football crazy, with people leaving work early at about 15:00 BST.

Friends Jack Moore, Rhys Greenwood and Scott Barnes said the bowl is "the only place to be".

"This is better than being in a pub," said Rhys.

As fans poured out, the mood was one of pride.

Ibraheem Jameel, 23, from Manchester said: "We played well but were beaten by a better team. I am disappointed."

Mike Hoskinson, 24, from Warrington, added: "I am very proud - if you had said at the start of the tournament we would make the semi-finals I would have taken it."

And Nick Giles, 29, euphonium player with the Brighouse and Rastrick brass band, said: "We have exceeded all expectations."

As fans poured out, the mood was one of pride.

Ibraheem Jameel, 23, from Manchester said: "We played well but were beaten by a better team. I am disappointed."

Mike Hoskinson, 24, from Warrington, added: "I am very proud - if you had said at the start of the tournament we would make the semi-finals I would have taken it."

And Nick Giles, 29, euphonium player with the Brighouse and Rastrick brass band, said: "We have exceeded all expectations."

Read more news of London on our site.

bbc.com
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