Ireland's nightmare World Cup campaign came to an end on Sunday as Argentina clinched a 30-15 win which put the Pumas into the quarter-finals where they will face Scotland.
The Argentines third successive win over the Irish saw them score two tries -- through wingers Lucas Borges and the only amateur in the starting line-up Horacio Argulla -- with Felipe Contepomi contributing 11 points and Juan Martin Hernandez kicking three drop goals.
For the Irish there was little consolation in scoring the first tries of the tournament that the Pumas had conceded as excellent efforts by captain Brian O'Driscoll and Geordan Murphy were only half of the four they needed to secure an unlikely spot in the last eight.
The defeat will also raise more question marks over the future of coach Eddie O'Sullivan.
"Argentina defended very well and kicked the ball deep. We had to run the ball out of defense and we got into a bit of trouble," O'Sullivan said.
"We needed to score four tries but we couldn't get field position. The boys played their guts out but it wasn't to be. It's been a tough World Cup. However, it wasn't for the want of trying," he said.
Argentina skipper Agustin Pichot said he was looking forward to the match with Scotland.
"We had a good game today. We knew they would give it everything but we wanted to win and that was our objective," Pichot said. "We won't underestimate Scotland. They are a top eight side but we will definitely go for it."
O'Driscoll was furious with the Argentine tactics.
"We were the only team playing and we tried to score four tries, but it's difficult to play against a team who refuse to play in their own half," the Ireland skipper said. "They have a good kicking game, it's difficult to play against."
The Irish started well but conceded a penalty in the eighth minute after O'Driscoll failed to take the ball just inside his half and Ireland were driven back, eventually being penalized for not releasing the ball.
They escaped as Felipe Contepomi's normally metronomic kicking skills let him down and the ball drifted wide of the posts.
Contepomi nearly made up for it two minutes later as he raced for the line having kicked the ball along the ground, but his Leinster team-mate Denis Hickie made up ground to beat him to it and save the Irish.
There was no such repeat in the 17th minute as Hickie was wrongfooted by Borges, who bounced off David Wallace and went over to touch down for his third try of the World Cup. Contepomi failed to convert.
Ronan O'Gara made no such mistake in the 21st minute as he opted to go for goal and slotted the ball between the posts to make it 5-3 to the Pumas.
However, the five point lead was restored a minute later as Hernandez dropped a goal.
The Argentines were fortunate not to have Ignacio Corleto sin binned with 10 minutes remaining of the first-half for deliberately obstructing Geordan Murphy.
While referee Paul Honiss waved play-on he eventually awarded a penalty once the linesman told him what had occurred with Corleto pleading his innocence in vain.
From the resulting penalty the ball got to O'Driscoll and he broke the Argentine defense, spun brilliantly and went over just by the posts to become Ireland's record try scorer in World Cup history with six.
O'Gara converted to give the Irish the lead for the first time at 10-8.