Argentina's Santiago Alvarez (L) runs past South Africa's Branco du Preez to score a try in the men's quarter-final. Photo: Ben Stanstall/AFP
Argentina's Santiago Alvarez (L) runs past South Africa's Branco du Preez to score a try in the men's quarter-final. Photo: Ben Stanstall/AFP

Blitzboks blow it as six-man Argentina pull off huge upset to reach Olympic semi-finals

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Jul 27, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - DESPITE playing for most of the match with six men due to a red card, Argentina pulled off a mighty upset to beat the Springbok Sevens team 19-14 in the Tokyo Olympics quarter-final on Tuesday.

Gaston Revol was sent off for a late, high and dangerous tackle on Selvyn Davids in the third minute, with the South Africans already leading 7-0 after Davids had finished following a terrific run down the right by Kurt-Lee Arendse.

ALSO READ: Blitzboks to face Argentina in Tokyo Olympics quarter-finals after edging out United States

But it appeared as if the Blitzboks relaxed because of the one-man advantage, while the South Americans were galvanised into action to end the medal hopes of Siviwe Soyizwapi’s side.

With Revol in tears on the touchline, his teammates took inspiration and went about winning it for him.

The speedy Marcos Moneta started the comeback, flying down the left-hand side and sprinting away from the Blitzbok defenders to produce a memorable five-pointer, which was converted superbly by Santiago Mare from close to the touchline.

That levelled matters at 7-7, but Moneta wasn’t done yet. With the South Africans failing to win a lineout and committing a few unforced handling errors, the Argentinians took full advantage.

Moneta got the ball on the right, and chipped ahead before outstripping the Blitzboks to re-gather and dot down to put Argentina into a 14-7 halftime lead.

ALSO READ: Blitzboks defence stands strong to hold off Kenya and qualify for quarter-finals

The South Africans couldn’t regain the initiative after the break, with Argentina contesting the breakdowns particularly well, and they were rewarded with a few penalties that kept the Blitzboks on the back foot.

Then disaster struck as Santiago Alvarez dotted down in the right-hand corner to stretch the lead to 19-7 with less than two minutes to go.

Even a penalty try to the Blitzboks soon after that was not enough. Argentina were reduced to five men due to a yellow card for a deliberate knockdown, but they managed to win the kickoff and boot the ball into touch and send South Africa crashing out of medal contention.

Points-Scorers

South Africa 14 – Tries: Selvyn Davids, Penalty Try. Conversion: Justin Geduld (1).

Argentina 19 – Tries: Marcos Moneta (2), Santiago Alvarez. Conversions: Santiago Mare (2).

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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