ONCE again, Andrea Pirlo gave an Italian masterclass to break English hearts, as the Azzurri ran out 2-1 winners against England.

All across Hampshire, patriotic football fans crammed into pubs and living rooms to catch a glimpse of England in action at the World Cup.

The 11pm kick-off did nothing to deter supporters, eager to see a new generation of Three Lions make their debut on the biggest stage of all.

The late introduction of Saints captain Adam Lallana was not enough to turn the tide through, and Italy held off a promising England side.

At the Isle of Wight Festival, thousands of revellers watched the match unfold on huge screens late into the night.

Through the day, weeks of anticipation and preparations came to a head as fans prepared to cheer on the team.

Anthony Baddams, who plastered his home in England flags, took it upon himself to up the patriotic ante as he decorated Northam Bridge in Southampton with England flags, and local model and TV star Karina Holmes got in the spirit by dressing her dog in the national colours.

Daily Echo:

Saints legend Matt Le Tissier said on Twitter: “Disappointing result last night. Hopefully Roy will pick our best team on Thursday and not a team to nullify the opposition.”

He was, however, impressed with Andrea Pirlo’s audacious free kick, comparing it to a banana, due to the huge amount of swerve on it.

Of course, it’s not just England who were playing, and Hampshire’s Dutch community had much to sing about after their team’s 5-1 demolition of reigning world champions Spain.

The Silver Fern pub in Warsash was awash with Orange for the clash, which was a re-run of the 2010 World Cup final.

Netherlands natives came from all over Hampshire for the match and were not left disappointed.

Daily Echo: Dutch fans outside the Silver Fern pub in Warsash.

The pub was alive with Dutch flags, scarves, clogs, funny hats and Dutch football songs, making for a great atmosphere, prompting some to even dance around the pub in their clogs.