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Sanchez shines as Argentina set up Japan showdown

NANTES, France - Nicolas Sanchez celebrated his 100th cap in style with a try and a flawless kicking performance as Argentina set up a World Cup Pool D decider against Japan with a brutal 59-5 demolition of Chile on Saturday.

Flyhalf Sanchez scored five and kicked 15 points to become his country's top scorer at a World Cup, adding to tries by Juan Martin Gonzalez (2), Agustin Creevy, Martín Bogado, Rodrigo Isgro, Ignacio Ruiz and Santiago Carreras to put Argentina in second place on nine points.

Argentina lead third-placed Japan on points difference ahead of their meeting next week with a quarter-final spot at stake while Chile exit the tournament bottom of the group with zero points despite scoring a late try through Tomas Dussaillant.

Pool D leaders England have qualified in top spot.

At Nantes' La Beaujoire stadium, Sanchez, already the team's all-time top scorer with 872 points, put Argentina ahead with an early converted try, diving over after a nice dummy.

He added a penalty before number eight Gonzalez crossed from a maul as did hooker Creevy for the Pumas' third midway through the opening half.

Rodrigo Isgro's yellow card for a high tackle on Rodrigo Fernandez slowed Argentina's progression and no other points were scored before halftime.

Having nothing to lose, Chile came back from the dressing room with a very offensive mindset but were caught cold when Bogado beat Inaki Ayarza's tackle for Argentina's fourth try.

The crowd went wild when Chile's Augusto Bohme touched down after a clever lineout, only for the try to be ruled out for a forward pass.

Argentina were ruthless, Isgro adding another try as he dotted down under the posts before Gonzalez claimed a double.

Dussaillant finally put Chile on the scoreboard to send their many fans wild, but they faced a brutal backlash as Ruiz and Carreras crossed to complete Argentina's crushing win. REUTERS