Shay Given protests after Argentina's first-half goal as scorer Angel Di Maria glances at the referee while starting his celebrations
The Republic of Ireland's debut at the Aviva Stadium ended in defeat as Angel Di Maria's controversial first-half goal earned Argentina victory.
With Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni missing the game after surgery, Robbie Keane lined up for his 100th Irish cap.
Di Maria lobbed Argentina ahead on 20 minutes with Shay Given and his defenders appealing for offside.
The Republic pressed after Lionel Messi's departure and Keane was denied late on by a Martin Demichelis tackle.
With Trapattoni watching the match on television in a Dublin hospital after undergoing minor abdominal surgery earlier on Wednesday, Marco Tardelli took charge of the Republic as they ushered in a new era at the new £350m Aviva Stadium on the old Lansdowne Road site.
Caretaker Argentina boss Sergio Batista started with eight of the side that lined up in the World Cup hammering by Germany with Nicolas Otamendi, Maxi Rodriguez and Carlos Tevez the absentees.
Keane took the plaudits at the start as he walked out for his 100th cap, holding his son Robbie Jr - the Republic's mascot on the night.
But the visitors showed no sentiment as they bossed the early changes with Barcelona star Messi going close in the eighth minute with a delicate chip just over the crossbar.
Keane was presented with a half-chance after a Cillian Sheridan flick-on in the 13th minute but the Tottenham striker dragged his shot wide.
Damien Duff did likewise six minutes later but Argentina took the lead in controversial circumstances less than 60 seconds later.
Gonzalo Higuain was all on his own in the Republic half as keeper Sergio Romero's kick-out went straight to him.
With the Republic defenders apparently waiting on an offside flag, Higuain touched the ball onto Di Maria who produced a deft chip over a stranded Shay Given.
Di Maria did appear to be in an offside position as he ran on to Higuain's touch but Danish referee Peter Rasmussen waved away the vigorous Irish protests.
Without creating a great deal, Argentina dominated the remainder of the first half which left the home players chasing shadows.
Half-time substitute Diego Milito should have put Argentina 2-0 ahead five minutes after the restart but the ball got caught up in his feet after a gorgeous Messi pass.
Messi was substituted just before the hour and the Republic had their best moments after his departure.
Firstly, a curling Duff free-kick almost went directly into the net and Keane was then about to pull the trigger before being denied by a last-ditch Walter Samuel tackle.
Substitute Keith Treacy then whipped in a dangerous low ball from the left wing but Andy Keogh, who had replaced Sheridan, skied the difficult chance over the crossbar.
In injury-time, Keane was denied by a superb Demichelis tackle as he appeared set to score and the Spurs man then failed to connect with an overhead kick after keeper Romero flapped at a Duff free-kick.
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