Argentina's Davis Cup title defence is over after Guido Pella threw away a two-set lead to lose the deciding rubber against Fabio Fognini in Buenos Aires on Monday.
The final match was postponed by a day due to heavy rainfall with the tie delicately poised at 2-2, and Fognini's magnificent comeback sent Italy through to a quarter-final with Belgium courtesy of a 2-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 win.
After cruising to the opening set, Pella came from 3-1 down in the second to edge closer to victory.
But Fognini had other ideas, securing a crucial advantage on his sixth break point in game eight of the third and fending off five as he consolidated an early surge in the fourth.
A long forehand from Pella put the Italian a break up in the fifth, and another wayward shot gave Fognini the win.
His Italy team-mates rushed onto the court to join him celebration, while football icon Diego Maradona's enthusiasm was sapped in the stands.