BERLIN (AP) — A quarter of a million German football fans reacted with unbridled joy, mixed with shock, on Sunday when Mario Goetze struck late in extra-time for Germany to win the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
The supporters, packed into the "fan mile" in front of the German capital's famous Brandenburg Gate, screamed as one when Goetze took the ball on his chest and let fly inside the far post from a narrow angle.
Fans cheered, clapped and shouted, with groups of fans hugging and jumping into the air together, making so much noise the commentary on the large screens could no longer be heard. Flares illuminated the stage and sent plumes of smoke into the sky.
"We're going to be world champions! We're going to be world champions!" yelled the compere of the public viewing event, even before the second period of extra-time was over in Brazil.
The party was already underway in Berlin, though there were a couple of nervous moments before the revelers could really let themselves go.
Cars drivers blasted their horns, whooped and yelled, before captain Philipp Lahm had even lifted the trophy at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.
Once he did, a massive fireworks display took place around the Brandenburg Gate, where fans had begun gathering six hours before kick-off.
Not even the rain or ominous thunder rumbling overhead could put them off. Police closed a number of entrances to the fan mile at least four hours before kickoff due to the sheer volume of fans attending. With three hours to go, police said it was full.
Other public viewing venues also filled up, despite forecasts of heavy rain across the country. Showers and summer storms were due to move in from the southwest.
Some 50,000 fans attended the Fan-Arena at St. Pauli's stadium in Hamburg, while supporters brought their sofas to watch the World Cup games at Union Berlin's Alte Foersterei stadium.
News agency dpa reported that a man was stabbed and later died from his injuries at a public viewing event in a cinema in the northern city of Bremen.
Standing amid thousands of discarded plastic beer cups, the fans at the Brandenburg Gate cheered loudly before kickoff came when the clouds gave way and the sun briefly broke through.
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