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Police use tear gas and detain 81 in Chile

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Police used tear gas and water cannons to subdue rowdy Chile fans and arrested 81 people in the capital Santiago on Wednesday after the country's first World Cup win in nearly 50 years, officials said.

Police said they detained the supporters mainly for public disorder in downtown Santiago, where fans massed in red national jerseys blowing trumpets and waving flags as they watched Chile beat Honduras 1-0 in their World Cup opener in South Africa.

"There were a couple of robberies, some arrested for causing damage, but most were for disorder," a police spokeswoman told Reuters.

Soccer is the most popular sport in Chile and major fixtures can sometimes spark street brawls.

Chile's victory came 48 years to the day after they last won a World Cup match -- a 1-0 win in a third-place playoff against Yugoslavia on home soil in 1962.

This is the fifth World Cup they have been to since and in the previous four they played 13 matches without a win.

(Reporting by Simon Gardner, Editing by Alastair Himmer)