Orange tears flow as Dutch dreams wrecked

The Netherlands
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The Independent Online

Grown men were crying in the streets of Amsterdam last night as they filtered out of the city's bars after Holland's defeat.

Fans from all over the country had travelled to the city, forming a sea of orange in their T-shirts, dresses and even earrings.

Earlier in the evening, it had been a carnival atmosphere in the Museumplein, a large park where more than 80,000 people watched the game on five large screens.

Revellers let off orange fireworks and flares while girls playfully sported the Bavaria beer dresses which had caused so much controversy in an "ambush advertising" stunt where the games were being held.

Some people held banners with cheerful slogans such as, "I can't eat tapas" or "I'd rather live in a houseboat than a villa".

After dancing to DJs the crowd settled down to the match – but as the country's dreams spiralled out of view fans grew increasingly hostile towards British referee, Howard Webb.

Spain's goal was greeted with a deathly silence before the dejected crowds slowly made their way home, while elsewhere in the city, someone threw a bicycle into a canal.