By Simon Lewis
Ireland clawed their way back into the game from 17-0 down after 13 minutes and Ian Madigan had a chance to level the scores at 23-all on 57 minutes but missed the long-range penalty.
Ireland never got another sniff and a penalty for Argentina two minutes later stretched the lead once more. After that it was merely a case of how much the Pumas would win by.
And so another chance to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time goes a-begging, with the loss of Paul O'Connell, Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony to injury and Sean O'Brien to suspension too much for a team that looked out on its feet as Argentina ran in two late tries.
Nicolas Sanchez proved the man for the big occasion with five penalties and four conversions off the tee, and executing his gameplan perfectly behind a ferocious pack.
For Ireland, captain Jamie Heaslip and Rory Best led the forwards with pride and excellent leadership but it wasn't enough to lift their battered side.
Jérôme Garcès was a busy boy, the French official awarding 13 penalties by half time, seven of them to Argentina but also correctly sin-binning Ramiro Herrera for a no-arms tackle on Keith Earls in the 17th minute. Herrera was lucky to stay on when he committed another no arms cleanout at a ruck and the French official seemed to bottle the decision.
Ireland 11 Argentina 14 (7-6 at half-time)
With Paul O'Connell, Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony all watching helplessly from the stands, Ireland's recent injury curse struck again in the 12th minute when Tommy Bowe went down clutching his right leg.
To the victor the spoils as the World Cup moved into knockout mode and it will be Argentina moving on to the semi-finals at Twickenham next Sunday, while the Irish can pack their bags and head home to their provinces.