Crowds in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires reacted with a mixture of celebration and anger to the country's 1-0 World Cup final defeat to Germany.
Thousands of people who had been waving Argentinian flags on the city's streets since the early morning seemed unfazed by the defeat, bursting into chants of "Ar-gen-ti-na!" when the whistle was blown ending the match in Germany's favour.
But people could could be seen fleeing in fear after police, who initially remained on the sidelines as jubilant fans poured into downtown Buenos Aires, began chasing down groups of youths who threatened to turn the scene ugly.
The youths, many of them with their faces covered and drinking heavily, responded by hurling rocks, destroying store fronts and even breaking into a theater. Police said 15 officers were injured and at least 40 people were arrested.
Despite the adverse result, large columns of football fans blowing white and blue plastic horns, Argentina's national colours, started marching down the city's main avenues in the direction of the giant white obelisk rising from the middle of 9 de Julio avenue, the main city landmark, where a massive crowd was already cheering their defeated team.
"I'm proud of this team, they made it to the final and gave it everything they had, we lost in the last minutes, but that's football," said one woman who had watched the match on a giant screen at Plaza San Martín in the city centre.
Defender Javier Mascherano emerged as the indisputed hero of this World Cup for Argentinian fans, being cheered wildly whenever the player appeared on the giant screen.
The main feeling was one of pride in a team that had made it to the final and was perceived to have put up a solid fight against Germany in the final.
A giant Argentinian flag, about one city block long, was carried on upraised arms above the heads of hundreds of fans.
Despite putting on a brave face in the moment of defeat, Argentinians were still inwardly devastated. "I can't stop crying, but we need to realize that the guts and union we showed will help us through, this epic was worth it," said Gustavo Samuelian, a well-known Argentinian fashion designer, after watching the match on TV at home.
"We lost but we haven't lost our pride," said a young man who joined thousands of others around the obelisk, where firecrackers were being set off after the result was known.
The only bad feelings evident were directed against match referee Nicola Rizzoli for not awarding a free kick to Argentina after German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer delivered what Argentinian commentators claim was a kick to the head to Gonzalo Higuaín when the Argentinian player was about to go through on the German goal 11 minutes into the second half.
"We're going to remember the penalty we weren't awarded for a very long time," said TV commentator Bebe Contemponi.