Atlanta, Ga (CNN) — La Albiceleste are still standing, but only just.
In a World Cup that seems determined not to reveal its favorites, Argentina continue to stumble forward.
Propelled by one of the tournaments undeniable stars -- Lionel Messi -- again they left it late to book a berth in the last eight at the expense of Switzerland.
With the contest just two minutes away from penalties, a winning goal was conjured between two men who operate at opposite ends of Spain's fiercest rivalry.
Messi, of Barcelona, drove deep into Swiss territory and swept the ball wide for Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, to fire powerfully into the corner.
Just to compound Swiss misery, a point blank injury-time header from Blerim Dzemaili struck the post before squirming wide.
Argentina's frenzied celebrations underlined the relief they felt to book a quarterfinal with either Belgium or the United States, who meet later on Tuesday.