London: Cheers turned to tears across England today as an estimated 30 million people watched their beloved team take an early lead but lose their World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil. "Our dream is over,'' muttered one dejected fan in the street after the 2-1 loss. England's only World Cup title came in 1966. More than 5 million fans made early-morning visits to about 25,000 pubs to watch the match from Shizuoka, Japan. At the Larrick Pub in Putney in southwest London, men wept at TV pictures of England captain David Beckham consoling distraught goalkeeper David Seaman. The winning goal early in the second half came when Ronaldinho's free kick arced over Seaman's head. "I'm gutted," said Chris Melotte, 34. "To do so well and then stumble like we did hurts so much. But we will win it in 2006". Under cloudy skies, tens of thousands of fans draped in English flags crowded into Trafalgar Square in central London, taking advantage of a decision by a foreign exchange company to erect a 32-metre square screen under the gaze of Lord Nelson, Britain's greatest naval hero. "Brazil just won the World Cup," said Nick Ryan, an unemployed former student who watched from the square. "Brazil was superb, and we just didn't perform today," he remarked. The Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper, in a stark comment on England's 36-year World Cup drought, summed up the match's importance to the country when it ran an almost-blank front page. It contained a small English flag and the words: "This page is cancelled. Nothing else matters".
Topics : Football