All Blacks 26 Argentina 16
This wasn't so much a bullet dodged by the All Blacks, but a blue-and-white striped missile.
On a day when history was created - the World Cup's biggest ever crowd of 89,019, the All Blacks prevented two more. They have never before lost a World Cup pool game or a test to Argentina.
And, with both Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith in the sinbin at the end of the first half and Argentina holding a 13-9 lead, a defeat looked a very real possibility.
While Smith saw yellow for a ruck infringement - and it was a close run thing - McCaw isn't likely to be happy with his decision to trip Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe. It brought jeers from the large Pumas contingent in the crowd and contributed to his team playing with 13 men for the remaining 92 seconds of the first half. Not ideal, as coach Steve Hansen might say.
The All Blacks had appeared in control early on with Dan Carter knocking over the penalties, but then lock Guido Petti Pagadizaval scored from a ruck close to the line and the wheels started to wobble. With Wayne Barnes on the whistle, it all felt a bit Cardiff 2007.
Nehe Milner-Skudder dropped a Sonny Bill Williams' pass cold within metres of the tryline, and then Sam Cane did the same from an Aaron Smith break.
They were unfamiliar errors, but in Cane's case it came after Smith eased the pressure with a very important try in the 57th minute which helped his team regain the lead they relinquished on the half hour mark.
Once Cane scored the wind went from the Pumas sails. The breaks, almost non existent in the first half thanks the tigerish defence, started appearing, with Williams and Beauden Barrett creating many of them. Prop Charlie Faumuina was also outstanding after replacing Owen Franks.
Radio Sport talk to John Mitchell about match:
In fact, the All Blacks victory had a lot to do with those three. They created a real impact after their arrivals early in the second half, with Williams having one of his best games in the black jersey after replacing Ma'a Nonu and Barrett coming on for Milner-Skudder.
It was all sunshine and light before kick-off at this magnificent arena on a glorious late-summer's day in north west London and it nearly went very grey for the All Blacks a day after Japan upset South Africa in the mother of all World Cup upsets.
They will be better for this run, but the defending champions certainly feel like they are at the World Cup now. This was a true test and they know it.
All Blacks 26 (Aaron Smith, Sam Cane tries; Dan Carter 4 pens, 2 cons)
Argentina 16 (Guido Petti Pagadizaval try; Nicolas Sanchez con, 3 pens)
Halftime: Argentina 13-12