|Photo: Connie Hatfield|
The Eagles have punched their ticket to the semi-finals at the Vegas 7s with a come from behind 21-19 win over Argentina. That makes it two comeback results against Argentina on the day if you consider the 15s draw earlier. What was impressive for the team is that they did to Argentina exactly what England did to them earlier in the day. Down by a couple of tries the Eagles dug deep and were able to find three second half tries. More crucially, the Eagles scored all of their tries in spots that gave them a chance to hit the conversions.
Back and forth characterized the first part of the match. Perry Baker had won the initial kick but his quick offload to Madison Hughes was judged to have been forward. Argentina then looked to be away but the turf monster came up and grabbed one of their players. The Eagles had their chances but at key moments a pass let them down or the Argentinian defense stepped up.
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The first score went to Argentina. Martin Iosefo and Baker tried to connect on a switch but the ball popped loose and into the hands of Argentina who quickly flung it across the pitch for the try. After the conversion they were up 7-0.
Danny Barrett thought he had an equalizer try just a few minutes later when he made a one handed interception but the referee called it back for offside. Needless to say the U.S. players did not agree with the call. It was made even worse as the half wore on as Argentina scored another try, thanks to an absent defense on a lineout, to take a 14-0 lead.
Argentina added a third try at the start of the second half as they created a turnover and quickly put it into the corner. However, with the tough angle the conversion missed and the U.S. had a window at 19-0.
The substitution of Make Unufe into the match changed the match. He scored two consecutive tries to put the Eagles back in it. Both came off simple play as holes opened up in the defense. Both tries were close enough to the posts for the conversion to be successful.
Still, time wasn't always on the Eagles side and when Argentina regained possession with not much time left it looked like the Eagles would fall short. That changed when a brilliant steal at the lineout from Danny Barrett put the Eagles going forward. A brilliant line from Baker then opened up the gap he needed to score under the posts and give the U.S. the narrow win.
The U.S. will now face South Africa in the semi-finals at 4:44 p.m. et/1:44 p.m. pt.