Germany broke the heart of a nation on Sunday, leaving millions of disconsolate Argentines to contemplate a defeat that deprived the South American country of its first World Cup win in almost three decades.
In downtown Buenos Aires’ San Martin park, a boisterous crowd was stunned into silence by a Mario Goetze volley in extra-time which gave Germany a 1-0 win in the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro.
Distraught fans held their heads in their hands as the final minutes ticked down.
At the final whistle, television pictures showed supporters across the city defiantly waving flags and applauding their team, with chants of “Argentina, Argentina,” ringing out.
“It’s another slap in the face. There is no more joy, but we came out second and were not shamed in Brazil,” said 40-year-old Eduardo Manfredi.
The hopes of 40-million people had been heaped on the shoulders of the national side – in particular Lionel Messi, one of the world’s greatest players, and in-form goal keeper Sergio Romero.
Hours before the game started, fans in the soccer-obsessed capital streamed along the city’s boulevards blowing vuvuzela horns and banging drums, while some even dressed up their pampered pooches in soccer strips tailor made for dogs.
Argentina has won the World Cup twice, most recently in 1986 when they defeated West Germany in the final.