But Guus Hiddink's team have been victorious, as have the South Korean fans.
"I am happy. But I am not happy," said another supporter, portraying the mixed emotions of a semi-final stumbling block.
The silence in Seoul was deafening.
But the images painted a remarkable picture.
Virtually every fan of the home team had their face painted in some way.
A miniature Korean flag on the cheek, or the red and blue symbolising the Ying and Yang of this confident nation painted fully on the face.
For those fans, the paint was running with the tears of defeat. Ying has finally given way to Yang.
The Red Devils now have to regroup for one last party.
Having travelled to every region of South Korea, it was ironic that the bandwagon wheels fell off in Seoul.
About six million fans took to the streets up and down the country to witness the semi-final against Germany on big screens.
Less than half that number are likely to greet the third place play-off against Brazil or Turkey in Daegu.
Down and out
The parties which followed victories over Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain went through the night.
But Tuesday's wake finished predictably early.
I nearly tripped over a fan in the gutter, pouring his heart and other internal organs down the drain.
Having been drunk on happiness for more than three weeks, the sorrow-drowning was taking its toll.
But when this nation's fans shrug off the morning-after- the-night-before hangover, they will know they have much to be proud of.
And the Red Devils will start planning another party in Daegu.