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With a 24-12 win over Brazil in the first round of the 9th-12th playoff, Team USA will face off against Spain at 12:00 p.m. ET Thursday for the right to be called the best team that didn’t make the quarterfinals. Spain beat Kenya in the other bottom-four playoff, 14-12.
Brazil scored first in the contest, with Daniel Sancery taking a backhanded offload from Moises Duque. Duque shoved off a tackle attempt from Nate Ebner, forcing the American defense to fold. Carlin Isles tried to rein Sancery in, but he couldn’t before the try was scored.
Ebner and Isles combined to erase the score directly following the ensuing restart. Brazil’s kickoff went straight out, and Ebner gashed the line on the set piece play, offloading to Isles for the score. The conversion was missed, leaving the score knotted at 5-5.
Danny Barrett won the ensuing kickoff, and after his teammates distracted the Brazilians with a few phases, Barrett stiff-armed both Duque brothers en route to the USA’s second score. The conversion was good – 12-5.
Isles scored his second try right on halftime after forcing a Brazilian turnover. He put in a tackle as the hooter sounded, dislodging the ball from the Brazilian ball carrier. Ben Pinkleman picked up the pill and charged forward, offloading to Isles. Hughes’ kick was missed, and the Eagles led 17-5 at intermission.
Brazil dominated possession during the first few minutes of the second half, but without really threatening to score. A knock-on eventually gave the ball back to the USA deep in the defensive end, but the Eagles spun the ball wide to Isles, who stepped inside one defender and burned past the rest to complete his hat trick.
On the next possession, Andrew Durutalo took the ball into contact and had it stripped. While he laid on the ground with an injury, Brazil scampered through the scrambled American defense and scored a converted try to narrow the gap – 24-12 – but it was too little, too late.
Brazil will try to pick up its first win of the competition in the 11th-12th place playoff against Kenya Thursday.