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Riots rock Argentina after loss to Germany in World Cup final

Riot police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of rock-throwing vandals who disturbed a rally by Argentines celebrating their team's gutsy performance in a 1-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup finals.

Thousands of Argentines, saddened but proud, had gathered peacefully at the iconic Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires to applaud their team's best World Cup performance in 24 years.

Police initially remained on the sidelines as fans poured into downtown Buenos Aires. But late Sunday night they began chasing down vandals. The youths, many of them with their faces covered and drinking heavily, responded by hurling rocks, destroying store fronts, tearing down street lights and even breaking into a theater.

Parents with small children could be seen fleeing in fear. Police said 20 officers were injured and at least 60 people were arrested.

Why Does Every Sports Championship Loss Result In Riots?

The chaotic situation marred what was an otherwise spontaneous show of support for Argentina's national team.

The center of festivities was the Obelisk, where fans traditionally gather to celebrate victory, not defeat. Cars honked staccato rhythms, firecrackers were tossed into the air and fans of all ages jumped in place shouting "Argentina! Argentina! Argentina!"

"We have nothing to regret, we played first rate," said 53-year-old Horacio Laseiras, carrying his six-year-old daughter on his shoulders.

The two-time world champion entered the title match as the clear underdog after Germany's 7-1 thrashing of host Brazil. But despite complaints about lackluster play earlier in the tournament, the team led by captain Lionel Messi showed grit throughout the match, creating several opportunities to score in the first 90 minutes.

Amid the outpouring of gratitude, there was a hint of frustration that Messi, the four-time world player of the year, didn't turn in a stronger performance.

"Messi still isn't Maradona," said 31-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez, referring to Diego Maradona, who lifted the championship trophy for Argentina in 1986 and led the 'albiceleste' to its last World Cup final, also against Germany, in 1990. "But this here is a party. We're all proud of our warriors."

In Argentina's capital, about 20,000 people dressed in the blue and white colors of the country's flag filled the capital's Plaza San Martin to watch the match on a giant screen, climbing atop lamp posts to get a better view.

"I feel an enormous sadness," Soledad Canelas, 19, said after the game. "I had the illusion of seeing Argentina become champion for the first time in my life."

The shot at the title united Argentines otherwise exasperated by one of the world's highest inflation rates, an encroaching debt crisis and a corruption scandal that has penetrated deep into President Cristina Fernandez's inner circle.

Fernandez, whose approval rating has plunged in recent months, kept a low profile during the tournament. She declined an invitation to attend the final, preferring instead to rest ahead of a summit Tuesday, also in Brazil, with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

She didn't comment on the team's loss but local media reported she had called head coach Alejandro Sabella to offer her support and is planning to welcome the team home on Monday morning.

Despite the pride over their team's performance, many Argentines couldn't hide the pain.

In Rio de Janeiro, more than 70,000 Argentina fans cheered on their team, many having traveled upward of 40 hours by car and seemingly all wearing their team's sky-blue jerseys and chanting day and night.

"This was a trauma. We were going to be able to leave singing songs in victory with the glory of the Cup," said Joao Cuenca, who has an Argentine father and a Brazilian mother. "What happened is nothing short of a disaster."

Violent Clashes in Argentina After World Cup Defeat

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MIKEY'S SCREEN July 14 2014 at 4:35 AM

Nothing more than a bunch of South American Moron's at their best.

But, NOT TO WORRY........

We should be receiving a few thousand of their citizens most ricky-ticky, according to Obama and Company.

Flag Reply +36 rate up
27 replies
Randy July 14 2014 at 4:39 AM

Just when I was convinced that Argentina was a civilized nation. How can one explain the rationale of a nation that says, "We lost a football game! We must destroy our country!"?

Flag Reply +24 rate up
16 replies
fox12ga July 14 2014 at 6:43 AM

These are the kind obama wants to give amnesty to

Flag Reply +18 rate up
12 replies
FRED July 14 2014 at 5:45 AM

This is how the third world celebrates comming in second. What a bunch of 7th century mentality, kind of like how the 'Slums celebrate!

Flag Reply +18 rate up
9 replies
oujoou July 14 2014 at 5:43 AM

Wow. Nothing like losing . . .then wanting to destroy your own country. :( Crying is OK. Deep sadness and sense of loss is normal too after your nation loses in the finals of the World Cup. But it's best to also be happy for the Germans. They won. It's the only way to be a better fan and person. :)

Flag Reply +17 rate up
3 replies
fisheadnj July 14 2014 at 4:28 AM

Get over it, in the end it is just a soccer game. I dont get what all the hype is about.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
2 replies
hattie54 fisheadnj July 14 2014 at 8:38 AM

That's what I told my hubby last night,they can just " suck it up ".

Flag Reply 0 rate up
blueeyessing fisheadnj July 14 2014 at 8:42 AM

Soccer (and plastic surgery for the women) is their life.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Perry July 14 2014 at 6:58 AM

So this is the peace, harmony and togetherness that soccer provides the world that soccer fans keep telling me about.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
2 replies
mrjoeped Perry July 14 2014 at 11:12 AM

That's quite a generalization. A few dozen borachos go on a rampage in a country of 40 million and you condemn the most popular game in the world. BTW, no problems in the host country where people of all nations did gather in harmony. Sounds like you've got a problem Che.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
boogiewiz mrjoeped July 14 2014 at 12:41 PM

Hi, there was p roblems in the host country... Need to read more

Flag +1 rate up
junma973 mrjoeped July 14 2014 at 3:14 PM

Brazilians were known to commit suicide when their team lost the championship.

Flag 0 rate up
tctraviss Perry July 14 2014 at 2:28 PM

that's all it takes is a few dozen idiots to screw things up for everyone.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lunarstruck July 14 2014 at 3:37 AM

Argentina should be so proud of this team - I rooted for them!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
2 replies
Lucy lunarstruck July 14 2014 at 5:10 AM

And we are proud but as in every country there are idiots that loves to ruin a celebration

Flag Reply +1 rate up
mrjoeped lunarstruck July 14 2014 at 11:08 AM

Same here, they played well and it was a great Mundial. I watched it from Costa Rica.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
kolarcritters mrjoeped July 14 2014 at 9:09 PM

You must have some awesome binoculars!

Flag 0 rate up
petesehria July 14 2014 at 7:52 AM

"Parents with small children went fleeing." What did the parents with medium size and large children do?

Flag Reply +8 rate up
3 replies
gosfnow July 14 2014 at 3:43 AM

i think they should ban soccer

Flag Reply +7 rate up
7 replies
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