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Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Published at 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK

Dramatic finale earns Pumas historic win

Humphreys slotted three from three - but so did Quesada

Ireland 24-28 Argentina

Argentina winger Diego Albanese scored the only try of a pulsating play-off against Ireland as the Pumas dramatically came from behind to steal their first place in the last eight of the World Cup.

The BBC's Nick Mullins: "Argentina were kept in touch by their kick king"
It was a fiercely fought match which for 70 of its 80 minutes was dominated by the kicking of fly-halfs David Humphreys and the tournament's top scorer Gonzalo Quesada.

Ireland looked to have booked their place in the quarter-finals as Humphreys edged the battle of the boot. He scored all his sides points - slotting seven out of seven penalties and a drop goal - while Quesada had only a solitary first-half miss against his haul of six.

His 23 points took him past the 300 mark in Tests.

[ image: Albanese was a thorn in the Irish side]
Albanese was a thorn in the Irish side
But with both men in such irrepressible form a try always looked like settling this thrilling tie.

Ireland threatened in bursts but it was Albanese, a thorn in the Irish side all night, who found the pace to fly into the corner with just six minutes of normal time remaining.

Argentina withstood a ferocious final ten minutes to earn their place in the history books.

It was a dramatic finale to a scintillating match which began slowly.

Quesada matched Humphreys kick for kick aside from a rare first half miss and a steepling drop goal which kept Ireland ahead for most of the match.

[ image: Without a try, Ireland were always vulnerable]
Without a try, Ireland were always vulnerable
Quesada and Humphreys - both aware how close the game might be - were studies in concentration as the battle of the kickers gathered pace throughout the 80 minutes.

Humphreys won round one as he sent his side into the interval 15-9 ahead.

Not even a monster tackle from Argentinian hooker Mario Ledesma which left him gasping for breath in a heap on the floor could put Humphreys off his technique.

He got up to slot home his sixth penalty followed by that huge drop-goal which gave the Irish a 21-9 ten minutes into the second half.

From there they looked safe - but Quesada was never far behind. He slotted three more kicks as Ireland conceded penalty after penalty under fierce Argentinian pressure and the gap was slowly whittled to just six points.

Denied by woodwork

Sensing the mounting pressure Humphreys went for a second drop goal with 12 minutes to go but it hit the post and allowed Argentina to set up a tremendous drive which was only halted by a try-saving tackle from an out-numbered Matt Mostyn.

But the Pumas could smell the try-line and eventually worked the ball back over to the left flank where Albanese raced over into the corner for the game's first try.

Quesada landed the conversion from the finest of angles to give Argentina the lead for the first time in the match.

When Argentina won yet another penalty on the stroke of full-time they jumped in the air as if they had won the match - knowing Quesada would slot the points.

He did, to leave Ireland needing a try to re-take the lead.

The referee signalled six minutes of injury time and Ireland set off desperately in search of the Argentinian line.

Gatland's men set up camp on the Pumas five-metre mark but, with the a penalty try seemingly in the offing, the clock ran out of the Irish.


Ireland team:

Conor O'Shea; Justin Bishop, Brian O'Driscoll, Ken Maggs, Matt Mostyn; David Humphreys, Tom Tierney; Dion O'Cuinneagain (capt), Kieron Dawson, Andy Ward, Malcolm O'Kelly, Jeremy Davidson, Paul Wallace, Keith Wood, Reggie Corrigan
Replacements: Jonathan Bell, Eric Elwood, Brian O'Meara, Eric Miller, Robert Casey, Justin Fitzpatrick, Ross Nesdale


Ignacio Corletto; Gonzalo Camardon, Eduardo Simone, Lisandro Arbizu (capt), Diego Albanese; Gonzalo Quesada, Agustin Pichot; Gonzalo Longo, Rolando Martin, Santiago Phelan, Alejandro Allub, Ignacio Fernandez-Lobbe, Omar Hasan, Mario Ledesma, Mauricio Reggiardo
Replacements: Manuel Contepomi, Felipe Contepomi, Nicolas Fernandez-Miranda, Miguel Ruiz, Lucas Ostiglia, Martin Scelzo, Agustin Canalda Referee Stuart Dickinson (Aus)

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