The game might have kicked off at the ungodly hour of 0330 Argentina time, but you would not have thought it from the people crowded into the bars and restaurants around Buenos Aires.
In the Recoleta district, the Locos por el futbol football bar - that is Crazy For Football - was a sea of pale blue and white hats and shirts and faces, all draped in the national team colours.
The air here was strung like a piano-wire, more than anything else.
This country prayed as one for victory - not just because the football-obsessed Argentina wanted to stay in the World Cup, but because after four years of unrelentingly bad economic news they need some reason to cheer.
The government needs a distraction to buy time and one fan commented that the person sweating the most was probably the President, Eduardo Duhalde.
It got worse as the Argentines launched attack after attack, failing to punch through the Swedish defence.
And when the Swedes scored from a free kick, the silence here was stunning.
The outcome was too much for some
There was a brief respite when Argentina equalised, but with barely five minutes left they realised that the win they desperately needed was out of reach.
Now the country has to console itself with watching from the sidelines and refocusing on some more bad economic news.
The verdict of the newspapers said it all.
"The dream is over... At 0520 in the morning Buenos Aires time needles were stuck into Argentina's footballing heart ," wrote La Nacion. While for Clarin "It hurts".