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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 22:25 GMT 23:25 UK

Argentina celebrate beating Scotland in the World Cup quarter-final
Argentina reached a World Cup semi-final for the first time
Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda said reaching the World Cup semi-finals is one of the greatest achievements in the country's sporting history.

The Pumas beat Scotland 19-13 to book a spot against South Africa next Sunday.

Loffreda said they had not been as slick as in the wins over France and Ireland, but added they would be fully ready to take on the Springboks.

"This is hugely worthy, and to my mind one of the greatest achievements in Argentine history," he said.

It isn't over yet of course and we will do some hard work over the next week

Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda

"Obviously, we also look at all the work that has gone behind it to bring about today's (Sunday's) result.

"We have recorded the biggest success we could ever have imagined. It isn't over yet of course and we will do some hard work over the next week."

Argentine captain Agustin Pichot, who has been instrumental in the Pumas' recent upsurge in form, agreed that the team had not been able to keep up their high intensity game as on previous occasions.

"It was very tough," said the 33-year-old former Stade Francais scrum-half.

"We were playing one of the best sides in the world and lacked freshness after playing two really tough matches.

"We tried to change our tactics. Everything can become difficult and run out of your hands if you do that."

We can be playing well or badly but if you play with your heart on your sleeve then that gives you something extra special

Pumas captain Agustin Pichot

Loffreda admitted the penalty count against his side was frustrating and insists he will work hard with his team to eradicate the mistakes next Sunday.

"We still controlled the game early in the second half, but we needed to be a bit more disciplined," said the Leicester Tigers-bound coach.

"Perhaps it was from the 15th minute of the second-half we began to make mistakes and lose the ball.

"That is how they scored their try and all that generates nerves and emotions. You have to control those at this level."

Pichot, who is playing in his fourth World Cup, said that the great strength of the Pumas was how close they were to each other.

"It's very difficult to express how I feel at the moment and I can only praise the players," said Pichot.


"We are a really tight knit family. Perhaps we are not the best, technically speaking, but we did everything in our power to achieve this and that is how we all feel.

"If you look at the English match (the Pumas won for the first time ever at Twickenham last November) we can be playing well or badly but if you play with your heart on your sleeve then that gives you something extra special.

"We are not talking about Pichot or Hernandez (fly-half Juan Martin) but a team. We all come together and work for each other."

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