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The Eagles preserved a clean sheet for day one at Avaya Stadium, beating Chile 29-21 in the final match of pool play. The win assures them the second seed going into the cup quarterfinals, as they trail just Australia on point differential. That will see a quarterfinal match-up against Fiji.
The USA and Chile traded blows for the first three minutes of the half, and the stalemate was broken by Kevon Williams, who spurted around the final Condor en route to pay dirt. Folau Niua’s kick missed, putting the USA up 5-0 with just under three minutes to play in the half.
Ryan Matyas tacked on the next one when Chile was sloppy in its ball presentation. Maka Unufe picked up the ball for the tackle area and sliced straight through the Chilean team, dishing to Matyas just before pay dirt. This time Niua’s kick clanked off the uprights and over, making it 12-0.
Unufe would take it in himself on the next score. With time elapsing, the Eagles won a lineout in the attacking end, and Unufe simply rounded his man and cut up field without being touched. Niua nailed the other upright, but this time it wouldn’t go in, leaving the Eagles 17 points clear at intermission.
Los Condores struck first in the second half. The Eagles were called offside on a knocked on ball, giving Chile a penalty in the attacking end. A prop tapped quickly and ran in right next to the posts. Chile scored directly off the next kickoff, too, with the Eagles still spinning from the last one. Both scores were converted, pulling Chile to within three.
Team USA recaptured momentum with a dazzling Unufe try. Joe Schroeder clanged his way through three Chileans before offloading to Matyas, and he found Unufe, who would toy with the last Condor defender before dotting down. Tomasin missed the conversion, but the USA led by two possessions – 22-14.
Chris Mattina scored the death knell try off an attacking scrum. He dummied to the center, got the Chile defender to bite, and shot through the hole he left and under the posts. Tomasin converted, making it 29-14. Los Condores then scored an inconsequential try at the death.
Day two of Silicon Valley 7s kicks off 11 a.m. PT Sunday. Streaming will resume on the USA Sevens Facebook page.