BUENOS AIRES- Argentinians reacted with tears, cheers and violence after the dream of a third World Cup title slipped through their fingers Sunday, as clashes between hooligans and police ended a massive street party.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, the iconic monument where the country traditionally celebrates and rallies, waving the flag, setting off fireworks and singing the praises of national hero Lionel Messi and team.
Despite the 1-0 loss to Germany in the down-to-the-wire, extra-time match, young Argentines climbed onto traffic lights and bus stops, dancing and singing to the beat of drums.
But after several hours of partying, dozens of hardcore fans known as “barrabravas” in Argentina started throwing blunt objects at riot police watching over the crowd, who responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon.
The clashes sent families with small children scurrying for refuge in restaurants or hotel lobbies.
Most of the crowd dispersed as a haze of tear gas settled over the area, leaving just a few dozen fans determined to provoke the police.
Eight police were injured in the fray and 40 people were arrested, media reports said.