Brave Argentina were left in tears after missing a last-minute penalty that would have completed a sensational comeback victory in their Rugby World Cup opener against France on Saturday.
The Pumas almost overturned a 17-point half-time deficit in the crunch Pool C clash in Tokyo, only for Emiliano Boffelli to fluff a late penalty, allowing France to win a cliffhanger 23-21 and leave the Albiceleste contemplating an early flight home.
Benjamín Urdapilleta kicked two second-half penalties, the second on the hour mark giving Argentina a two-point lead.
But long-range specialist Boffelli stepped up to take the last-ditch kick with several French players unable to watch, hooking it just wide.
"We didn't give up right to the end but it's a very bitter feeling," said fly-half Nicolás Sánchez.
"We went close but we made mistakes too. Now we have three very important games coming up and we will have to play like we did in that second half if we want to win all three. We have a lot of hard work to do."
France, who had lost on two of the previous three occasions they had run into Argentina in the World Cup, dominated the first half, producing some champagne rugby to score tries through Gael Fickou and Antoine Dupont.