June 28, 2008 / 10:38 PM / 11 years ago

Italy snatch last gasp victory in Argentina

Bernardo Stortoni (L) of Argentina's Los Pumas tries to elude Italy's Santiago Dellape during their rugby union test match against Italy in Cordoba, northern Argentina June 28, 2008. REUTERS/Mauro Caceres

CORDOBA, Argentina (Reuters) - Italy grabbed a late try and conversion to squeeze past Argentina 13-12 on Saturday, handing the Pumas a second successive home defeat.

Replacement Leonardo Ghiraldini was judged to have scored in the 80th minute after a maul crossed the line, a decision hotly contested by Argentina who were playing their third and final home game of the year.

Andrea Marcato then converted to give Italy their second win in 15 meetings with the Pumas.

Despite the dramatic finale, it was a generally disappointing, scrappy encounter.

Argentina had at one stage led 12-0 after Juan Hernandez booted two penalties in the opening six minutes followed by another two from Marcelo Bosch.

But Hernandez also went off with a broken hand which is expected to sideline him for two months.

Marcato reduced the arrears with a penalty for Italy before halftime and another eight minutes after the break.

It was only the third match for Argentina since they finished third at last year’s World Cup.

Their previous two games were at home to Scotland this month, winning 21-15 and losing 26-14.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Buenos Aires: Editing by Tony Jimenez

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