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Los Pumas seal semi-final spot with comeback win against Wales

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Saturday Oct 14, 2023

Argentina defeated Wales 29 – 17 in the first quarterfinal of the Rugby World Cup 2023.

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Michael Cheika’s team entered the match as underdogs against an undefeated Welsh side who had put a record victory over the Wallabies three weeks earlier.

Opening with an expansive attacking game, Los Pumas would challenge the Welsh defence early, only to be undone by handling errors and ill-discipline.

Wales would seize an early 10 – 0 lead and appeared to be on their way to yet another World Cup semi-final under Warren Gatland.

Yet, despite holding off wave after wave of Argentinean attacks. Wales never quite looked comfortable and uncharacteristically began to leak penalties, allowing their opponents back into the fixture.

Emiliano Boffelli would kick Los Pumas into a 12 – 10 lead in the 47th minute.

Wales would strike back nine minutes later as scrumhalf Tomos Williams glided over for the go-ahead score, with Dan Biggar adding the conversion to take the scores to 17 – 12.

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This would be the final score of the evening for the Welsh as Argentina crossed for their first try of the evening through replacement loosehead Joel Scalvi.

Boffelli would add the two points as Los Pumas found themselves in the lead with twelve minutes to play.

Sealing the deal in the 77th minute, veteran flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez would break from 40m out to score under the posts before adding the conversion and, with it, an unassailable nine-point lead.

Having started their campaign with an uninspiring loss to England in round one, Argentina’s turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable.

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Now set to face the winner of this evening’s second quarterfinal match-up between Ireland and New Zealand, Los Pumas are once again within touching distance of a first-ever World Cup final appearance.

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