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Calm ahead of Argentina’s World Cup match

June 25, 2014

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — A few scuffles broke out among World Cup fans Wednesday in this southern Brazilian city that saw an estimated 80,000 Argentina soccer fans arrive to watch their national team take on Nigeria, but overall the scene was calmer than authorities feared.

There were concerns that some of Argentina’s infamous hooligan gangs might cause trouble in the city, and police responded by heavily patrolling in riot gear in the area around the stadium.

On Saturday, Argentina fans got into a melee with Brazilian fans, tossing beer bottles at each other, and there were fears worse would happen Wednesday in Porto Alegre, which is about 700 kilometers (430 miles) from the Argentine border.

But apart from a few isolated incidents, there was little violence as the match pitting Argentina against Nigeria began.

Yinich Alcand, a Nigerian fan among thousands hanging out about 2 kilometers (a mile) from the stadium, said that the atmosphere was “electrifying, but the problem is there’s a shortage of tickets.”

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