Sports

Long faces, but chins up for legions of USA fans in Brazil as World Cup squad bows out

  • A U.S. soccer fan watches his team's World Cup round of 16 match against Belgium on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    A U.S. soccer fan watches his team's World Cup round of 16 match against Belgium on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Fans of the United States national soccer team react, in frustration, as they watch their team's World Cup round of 16 match against Belgium on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium beat the United States 2-1 in extra time to reach World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Fans of the United States national soccer team react, in frustration, as they watch their team's World Cup round of 16 match against Belgium on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium beat the United States 2-1 in extra time to reach World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belgium soccer fans react as they watch their team's World Cup round of 16 match against United States on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium beat the United States 2-1 in extra time to reach World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Belgium soccer fans react as they watch their team's World Cup round of 16 match against United States on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium beat the United States 2-1 in extra time to reach World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

It's all long faces but heads mostly held high for the legions of American fans in Brazil for the World Cup after the U.S. team bowed out against Belgium.

Upward of 20,000 people — mostly Americans — packed the golden sands of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro in front of a giant TV screen for Tuesday night's game.

The crowd's mood grew ever more tense as the tightly played match wore on to a scoreless draw in regulation time.

American optimism deflated after Belgium scored two goals in extra time, but then the U.S. made a spirited comeback try that fell short to end at 2-1.

Twenty-eight-year-old Travis Rood of Seattle says this World Cup is "a turning point" because other nations are starting to respect the American side.