Argentina skipper Agustin Creevy bemoaned his side's inability to close out the game when they were leading the Springboks in Salta on Saturday.
Los Pumas held a 28-16 lead in the final quarter but two late tries, from Cornal Hendricks and Marcell Coetzee, and accurate goal-kicking from Morne Steyn saw the Boks launching a comeback which eventually secured them a 33-31 victory.
The win moves South Africa to the top of the points standings - one above defending champions New Zealand - while Argentina are languishing at the bottom of the table with two points from two matches.
Creevy was left to contemplate what could have been when he was interviewed after the match.
"They knew how to take advantage of some bad moments from us and we couldn't figure out how to win the game," he said.
"Up by 12, we said we should play intelligent rugby, but they came out strong and we made some mistakes.
"Closing games is always a psychological issue."
Argentina were dominant in most facets of play, and even shoved the Springboks off their ball on several occasions in the scrums.
Creevy admitted that his side threw away the game but said he felt they played a great match.
"In the latter stages of the match we made mistakes and against a team like South Africa that is costly," he added.
"We have to be more patient in the latter stages of games."
Openside flanker Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe echoed his captain's sentiments said although the loss was hard to take they had no excuses.
"We were playing at a high intensity, against a great team that continued to pressure us," he said.
"When we had control of the game, we scored two tries and a penalty.
"After we score the third try, there was a five-minute period where we lost the ball, the control and the ambition that we were looking for.
"That turned the game."
Fernández Lobbe believes los Pumas will come back stronger from this experience.
"We will get back up and work harder," he said.
"Since I have been with this team, the heads have never dropped and we will continue to work hard to [get that first Rugby Championship] win.
"However, losing when you're so close is very hard."