Two Argentina fans suffer fatal heart attacks after country's semi-final win over the Netherlands

One of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16-year-old Erik Tench

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The Independent Football

Two Argentinian fans, including a 16-year-old, have died from heart attacks while watching Argentina’s World Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

Erik Tench, 16, and Gustavo Daniel Hofer, 49, both suffered cardiac arrests as heroics from Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero saw the South American side dump the Netherlands out of the tournament and progress to their first World Cup final for 24 years.

The 16-year-old Tench died during a screening of the game in the town square of La Banda in Argentina’s northern province of Santiago del Estero.

According to Argentinian paper Clarin, Tench had been feeling unwell during extra-time but it was not until penalties that he collapsed with chest pains.

The 16-year-old was rushed to hospital, but died on arrival.

A friend told Clarin: “In extra time he said he wasn't feeling well, that he was nervous, but because we were all suffering like that due to the game we just laughed”

“We thought he was OK” he added.

The news of Tench’s death came after it was reported 49-year-old Gustavo Daniel Hofer had also suffered a fatal heart attack after the Argentina Netherlands shoot-out.

Hofer was celebrating his country’s victory in the town of Marcos Juarez in Argentina’s Cordoba region when he suffered the attack.

According to reports, the newspaper seller was running through the town’s streets with other fans before his death.

This is the third reported case of football fans dying as a direct result of watching this year’s World Cup.

On the 29 June, a 69-year-old Brazil fan also suffered a fatal heart attack during Brazil’s penalty shoot-out last 16 win over Chile.

This followed the news of one Chinese man dying of a reported heart attack caused by excessive sleep deprivation after he had stayed up for consecutive nights to watch World Cup group stage matches.