Gonzalo Higuain inspired Argentina to a 2-1 win against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.
The Napoli striker troubled the hosts' defence on several occasions and deservedly finished the evening with a goal and an assist before being replaced after 60 minutes.
Argentina substitute Ever Banega doubled the advantage after half-time.
Lorenzo Insigne grabbed a consolation for Italy with a terrific curling effort with 15 minutes remaining, but, the home side, who had an offisde goal disallowed, could not find an equaliser.
The visitors were brighter initially, with Higuain looking particularly threatening in the opposition box. He had a shooting opportunity as early as the third minute but his tame effort was easily held by Gianluigi Buffon.
Italy's slow start was deservedly punished five minutes later. Marco Verratti gifted possession to Erik Lamela 35 yards from the Azzurri's goal and his pinpoint pass with the outside of his boot found Higuain in the box, who cut inside De Rossi to fire past Buffon.
The setback sparked Cesare Prandelli's men into action but they failed to carve out clear-cut opportunities, despite having claims for a penalty turned down.
Antonio Candreva was a real thorn in the Argentina defence, first delivering a cross that just evaded Pablo Osvaldo's outstretched boot before a teasing ball into the box was met by Claudio Marchisio, who inexplicably miskicked his effort straight to Albiceleste goalkeeper Mariano Andujar.
And they were nearly punished for their wastefulness when Angel Di Maria picked out Rodrigo Palacio at the back post, but the Inter forward failed to connect properly.
Lamela was surprisingly withdrawn at half-time to be replaced by Banega, but the decision was almost immediately justified with the substitute doubling the advantage in the 49th minute.
Higuain picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the box and laid into the path of the on-rushing Banega, who took one touch before striking firmly across Buffon into the left-hand corner.
Buffon was replaced in the 55th minute by Federico Marchetti and the goalkeeper was called into immediate action to make a fantastic double save.
Italy then had the ball in the back of the net in the 68th minute through Alberto Aquilani but the linesman raised his flag for offside.
However, with 15 minutes remaining, the home side did reduce the deficit when Insigne hit a sublime curling effort into the top right-hand corner from 20 yards.
Italy continued to push for the equaliser but they once again had Marchetti to thank as he produced a stunning save from Fernandez's bending shot in the 89th minute.
Argentina head into their World Cup qualifier with Paraguay in September full of confidence, while Italy will take heart from a spirited performance as they host Bulgaria and Czech Republic in the same month as they look to seal qualification to Brazil in 2014.
|D. De Rossi|
|Coach: C. Prandelli|
for A. Candreva 46'
for R. Montolivo 46'
for C. Marchisio 46'
for E. Giaccherini 54'
for G. Buffon 54'
for C. Maggio 71'
|Hughes hailed for winning over Brit doubters|
|Hajrovic signs for Bremen|
|Hull can buck Europa League trend, says Meyler|
|Mertesacker talks up German chances|
|Swansea reveal Tottenham contact over Davies, Sigurdsson|
|Lloris pens five-year deal at Tottenham|
|Fernandinho: ´The pain is big´|
|MLS Preview: Portland aim for swift revenge against Seattle|
|Sabella: Germany have an advantage|
|Second Argentine journalist dies in Brazil|
|Aguero: Argentina defied critics|
|Impressive Mascherano thrilled with final´s berth|
|Zuniga offered protection by Colombia|
|Germany vowed not to ´humiliate´ Brazil|
|Hong resigns from South Korea post|
|Third-choice Vlaar ´wasn´t nervous´|
|Van Gaal: I wanted Krul in the shootout|
|Argentina: Key factors in reaching the final|
|Sabella revels in semi-final win|
|Proud Robben feels pain of World Cup exit|
|FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (after extra time, 2-4 on penalties)|
|Susic signs two-year extension with Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Hummels in race to make World Cup final|
|Scolari still baffled by Brazil collapse|
|Spendlhofer and Benedetti leave Inter|
|Neymar ´recovering well´ from injury|
|Villarreal sign Jonathan dos Santos|
|Arteta happy at Arsenal, insists agent|
|Birsa makes Chievo loan switch|
|FIFA suspends Nigeria over political interference|
|Di Stefano funeral held in Madrid|
|Hangeland scathing of ´difficult´ Magath|
|Thiago Silva in fan plea|
|Isgrove earns fresh one-year deal at Southampton|
|Morata edges closer to Juve switch|
|Nugent pens two-year extension at Leicester|
|Gomez delight with ´perfect´ Germany|
|Costa Rica to discuss Pinto future|
|Arfield agrees Burnley extension|
|Allardyce targets four more signings|
|K.League Review: Jeonnam close gap on Pohang, Jeonbuk|
|Maradona: Thrashing damages Brazil´s image|
|Kasami makes Olympiacos move|
|Chelsea complete Pasalic signing|
|Helenius makes temporary Aalborg return|
|Higuain set for Napoli stay|
|Basta targets return to Europe with Lazio|
|Lewandowski willing to adapt for Bayern|
|New Hull deal for Jakupovic|
|Atletico agree Mandzukic deal, claims Sammer|
|Fulham seal Stafylidis loan|
|Alves pens new Valencia deal|
|Ochoa to take time over future|
|Brown could miss three months|
|Adams: Norwich will not overspend|
|Gundogan unsure when rehab can step up|
|Stoke chairman wants long Begovic stay|
|Brazilian media reacts to semi-final exit|
|Icardi vows to remain at Inter|
|Robben is player of the World Cup, says Kluivert|
|Klose focused on final after breaking record|
|Prandelli takes aim at Balotelli, Rossi|
|Schweinsteiger sorry for Brazil battering|
|Brazil scarred for life, says Fred|
|Sabella: Argentina ´have already won´|
|Muller stunned by rout|
|Low lauds ice-cool Germany|
|Tearful Luiz apologizes for semi-final loss|
|Scolari sorry for ´catastrophic´ Brazil hammering|
|Brazil join sport´s biggest chokers|
|Reality kills Brazilian dream on a surreal night|
|FIFA World Cup: Brazil 1 Germany 7|
|Linfield 1 B36 Torshavn 1 (agg 3-2): Feeney´s dream start continues as Linfield progress|
|Clinical Klose smashes World Cup record|
|Klose breaks World Cup goal record|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Goalkeeper Casals provides late Santa gift|
|Demichelis ready to get under Robben´s skin|
|Pukki hits three as Celtic rout Linz|
|Everton complete Barry deal|
|Lucas stars as PSG ease to friendly win|
|Netherlands sweat on Van Persie and Janmaat|
|Nike to end United sponsorship|
|Roma let Dodo go to Inter|
|Juninho backs Brazil despite Neymar blow|
|West Ham confirm Poyet deal|
|Mascherano calls for calm ahead of semi-final|
|Palermo chief looks to emulate Atletico|
|Southampton snap up Tadic|
|Pioli calls for dedication|
|Cocu: Depay should stay at PSV|
|No fears for Irvine over Morrison and Brunt|
|Miranda quashes Atletico exit rumours|
|Aurier keeping options open|
|Samuel set for Sampdoria switch|
|Dudgeon pens new Hull City deal|
|Serero extends Ajax deal|
|Napoli come out in support of Zuniga|
|Prandelli: Mancini helped sell Galatasaray to me|
|Deportivo sack Vazquez|
|FIFA World Cup Preview: Netherlands v Argentina|
|Valverde issues challenge to midfield after Herrera exit|
|Yattara pens Lyon extension|
|M´Vila set for Inter move|
|Fletcher relishing testing pre-season|
|Enrique raring to get started|
|Caballero seals City switch|
|Villa chief executive steps down|
|McCormack completes Fulham switch|
|Monk hoping to make Swansea additions|
|Low: Mertesacker was not ill versus France|
|Mancini: Italy job would be an honour|
|Hughes anticipates Stoke sales|
|Garcia returns home to Perth|
|Luis Garcia heads to India|
|Langerak staying at Dortmund|
|Sakho delighted with support|
|Liverpool, Roma target Yedlin focused on Seattle|
|No Arsenal commitment from Vermaelen|
|Guidolin deserves Italy job, says Di Natale|
|Scolari giving nothing away|
|Ferguson pays tribute to Di Stefano|
|Drulovic backs Markovic´s Liverpool move|
|Brazil to report doctors over Neymar final claims|
|Luis Alberto takes lessons from Liverpool experience|
|Thiago Silva slams Zuniga´s ´coward´s tackle´|
|Low warns referee of Brazil´s brutality|
|Amarildo: Neymar absence could be a blessing|