Wales coach Gareth Jenkins had only praise for his young team after losing the first Test 27-25 against Argentina in Puerto Madryn's Raul Conti Stadium.
Wales youngster James Hook scored a late try on debut
"It is not the result we wanted, because we believed all week we could have got a win here," Jenkins said.
"But I am full of admiration for the spirit, intent and commitment of a young team.
"They did everything we asked of them in training, and I couldn't have asked any more of them in the match."
Wales matched the Pumas try for try, with debutants Ian Evans and James Hook adding to wing Mark Jones' third-minute opener.
Argentina got a kind bounce when Juan Manuel Leguizamon benefited from a charge-down to score.
It has been a huge effort and we are not out of this Test series
Wales coach Gareth Jenkins
But the Pumas took control when Wales had Gavin Thomas and Alix Popham sin-binned just before half-time.
Wing Jose Maria Nunez Piossek scored while the back-row pair were off the field, although it took until the 77th minute for Argentina to again find their way to the tryline through Francisco Leonelli.
Hook drew Wales back to within two points deep in injury time, but Wales could not find the other score that would have handed them victory.
Despite the loss, Jenkins - taking charge of his first international - is confident that Wales can level the series in next Saturday's second Test in Buenos Aires.
"The last 10 minutes of the first half was a factor of course, but it is an 80-minute game and we came back to within two points with a great try at the end," he said.
"We were hoping we had five minutes left rather than two, but we gave it our all.
"It has been a huge effort and we are not out of this Test series. It was more than positive and we will go in there realising we can win the game next week."