Leaping Puma: Argentina's Gonzalo Longo Elia dives over to score the opening try of the quarter-final against Scotland

PARIS, 7 October - Argentina booked a semi-final date with South Africa after they defeated Scotland 19-13 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Sunday night.

The Pumas will return to the same venue next Sunday to face the Springboks, who had earlier fought off a brave Fiji in Marseille.

Argentina looked to be cruising on the hour mark when leading 19-6 but were given a scare after Scotland, rejuvenated by coach Frank Hadden's liberal use of the substitutes bench, scored a converted try and were pushing for an unlikely victory at the end against a tiring Pumas.

The South Americans led 13-6 at half time thanks to a converted try and three penalty goals.

It had taken 16 minutes to break the deadlock when Scotland fly half Dan Parks kicked a penalty from halfway after an Argentina offside offence.

But Felipe Contepomi, who missed an earlier penalty attempt, levelled the scores on 23 minutes when he kicked truly after Scotland lock Nathan Hines was punished for a dangerous high tackle.

Charge down

The centre extended Argentina's lead on 29 minutes after Scotland were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown.

And when Gonzalo Longo Elía went over on 33 minutes after charging down a kick and gathering the loose ball, with Contepomi converting, the Pumas had opened a handy 10-point break.

Scotland stayed in touch when wing Chris Paterson kicked a penalty just before the break to maintain his perfect, 16-from-16 record at the tournament.

Contepomi added another penalty just three minutes after the restart when the Scots conceded for collapsing a maul.

When Parks fluffed a penalty attempt on 49 minutes it was the first time in 23 attempts that either he or Paterson had failed to land a place kick in the Scots' five matches at this tournament.

Argentina's talisman Juan Martín Hernández showed them how to do it on 54 minutes when he slewed a left-foot drop goal between the sticks - his fourth at this world cup - to make it 19-6.

Replacement scrum half Chris Cusiter lifted Scotland hopes when he crashed over on 63 minutes and Paterson squeezed home the conversion off a post to reduce the margin to just six points.

RNS mr