Twickenham - England captain Chris Robshaw said his side had "let a lot of people down" after they suffered a stunning 28-25 loss to Wales in a crunch 'Pool of Death' World Cup clash in front of their own fans at a sold-out Twickenham on Saturday.
England twice led by 10 points, with wing Jonny May scoring a fine try.
But Wales hit back with a brilliant converted try of their own nine minutes from time through scrum-half Gareth Davies.
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar was remorseless with the boot in landing 23 points, and the Welsh led 28-25 with just minutes on the clock when England won a penalty of their own.
England fly-half Owen Farrell, like Biggar, didn't miss a place-kick all match.
But rather than go for a penalty to tie the match, England opted for an attacking line-out in the hope of scoring a try that would win the game.
But the move broke down and Wales, who suffered yet more injuries during a bruising encounter after losing several key players before the tournament started, held out.
"The call came down to myself, we wanted to go for a win, unfortunately it didn't come off," said Robshaw.
"Now it's about having a big reaction, the character of the squad," the Harlequins flanker added.
"It hurts like hell at the moment and we feel we have let a lot of people down when we were in a prominent position."
England next face two-time world champions Australia in a tough pool where at least one of the world's leading sides will miss out as only the two top teams go through to the last eight.
"It's a huge challenge with Australia coming to town," said Robshaw.