Argentina survived a valiant second half comeback from Ireland to reach just their second Rugby World Cup semi-final with 43-20 victory at the Millennium Stadium. The Pumas stormed into a 17-0 lead in the first 13 minutes but were left thanking their lucky stars amid a storming second half response from the the successive Six Nations champions after two huge decisions went their way.
Tight-head pro Ramiro Herrera escaped being shown a red card in the second half after, having already been sin-binned during the first 40 minutes for a no arms tackle on Keith Earls, the Castres forward fail to bind at a ruck. Jerome Garces overlooked the moment of ill-discipline and Ireland's injustice was compounded when Joaquin Tuclet went over in the corner despite initially appearing to losing control of the ball when grounding in the corner.
The controversy worked to oveshadow a fine first half display from Argentina, which had seemingly put them on course for a smooth route into the second semi-final. Matias Moroni and Juan Imhoff scored tries inside the first 10 minutes, but the yellow card for Herrera allowed Ireland a way back into the match as Liam Fitzgerald crossed before the break.
Jordi Murphy scored a second try four minutes after the interval to put Ireland within three points. Though Ian Madigan - in for the injured Johnny Sexton - exchanged penalties with Nicolas Sanchez the 26-year-old missed the chance to draw Ireland level on the hour.
With Herrera having avoided seeing red, Argentina extended their lead again through the boot of Sanchez before pulling away from Joe Schmidt's tiring side in the closing minutes. Tuculet went over in the corner, though there are questions over whether he properly ground the ball, before Imhoff stormed clear for his fifth try of the tournament to take his team into the last four.