World Cup 2018: Heartbreak as England lose semi-final

World Cup 2018: Heartbreak as England lose semi-final

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The dream is over: Fans in London’s Hyde Park

Pubs, parks, castles, caravans – it didn’t matter where you were watching, as long as you were watching.

Following a mass exodus of workplaces up and down the country, millions were glued 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.

We’re at Hyde Park in London, where up to 30,000 fans saw their team battle against Croatia. 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.

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.

“Since the start I’ve had every confidence we would get through to the semis.”

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Father and son Luke and Andrew Downing were first in line at Hyde Park

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

The city has gone football crazy, with people leaving work early at around 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.

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“The bowl is the only place to be,” say pals Jack Moore, Rhys Greenwood and Scott Barnes

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Manchester goes mad for it

Drenched in evening sunshine, the nation’s beaches were a popular spot to watch the match.

Fans went wild on Perranporth, Cornwall, when Trippier curled home his early opener.

On Brighton Beach, fans are glued to a big screen on the sand, which was also beaming out the tennis before World Cup fever took hold.

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In Harry we trust: Seeing triple on Brighton Beach

Sean Tipping, 31, a sales rep from Lindfield, said: “I’m excited. The way we are playing at the moment, our set pieces are so dangerous. They’ve done well no matter what.”

At Nottingham Castle, 3,000 tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale.

Red and white filled the grounds as people nervously gathered around the big screen.

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A few spilled pints at Nottingham Castle

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She knows. Eight-year-old Lily Harkin’s handiwork on Cole Bryceland in Nottingham

And at Millennium Square, Leeds, thousands were watching with anticipation.

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Bated breath at Millennium Square, Leeds

But it was obviously not just in England where the tension was building.

Meanwhile in Moscow . . .

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We think this chap may be just a little excited

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