An initial wave of elation turned to heartbreak as 30,000 beer-soaked fans in London's Hyde Park on Wednesday watched England lose an early lead in the World Cup semi-final against Croatia and come up short once again. "I'm really, really sad," said a tearful Laura Russon, 31, clutching an empty bottle of cider. "But I'm still 100 percent proud of them." Crowds of glum-looking fans swiftly streamed out of the venue, as some stayed behind to applaud the young team's surprising success in Russia. Early on in the game, optimism had ruled. Under the clear blue skies of a beautiful summer's evening, beer rained down as fans celebrated an early England goal in their first semi-final appearance in 28 years — a prospect which had seemed virtually impossible at the tournament's outset.