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The United States defeated Argentina 14-12 to earn a berth in the Vancouver 7s semifinals. The United States struggled at times throughout the match, but a few key plays propelled the Eagles into their second consecutive semifinals.
As well as yesterday went for the Eagles, the start to the quarterfinal was much rougher. The United States kicked off to open the game and Ben Pinkelmen missed the opening tackle. Argentina went streaking down the sideline but Danny Barrett tackled the player out of bounds. However, the referee deemed it was a high tackle and sent Barrett off for two minutes with a yellow card.
The United States withstood the first wave of attack, causing a knock on about five meters out from the try line. The Eagles won the ensuing scrum and after a few phases Martin Iosefo found a gap. During an attempted offload, however, Argentina intercepted the pass and went the other way. The Pumas took advantage of being one man up out wide and took a 7-0 lead.
Madison Hughes fielded the resulting kickoff and used a nifty offload to find Pinkelmen in space. The forward barged over an opponent but while attempting to offload knocked it forward. The United States won the scrum against the head, though, and the ball worked its way left. Iosefo found space out wide and pulled a switch with Perry Baker. The high flyer sprinted in between two Argentina defenders under the posts for his seventh try of the weekend.
Penalties plagued the Eagles for the rest of the half as Argentina methodically worked its way down field. Matias Osadczuk ultimately fended off two Eagles for an unconverted try right at halftime. At the break, Argentina led 12-7.
The United States got on the board first after some nifty phase play. Off a lineout, the ball went right to Hughes. Hughes placed a well-executed kick down the right sideline for Baker. Baker ran onto but was tackled near the 22-meter line. Baker offloaded and a clever tap back by Hughes to Tomasin saved the possession. After earning a penalty, the Eagles worked it left and found Barrett in space. The big forward cut back inside, fended off a defender, and scored the game-tying try. Hughes nailed the conversion and the Eagles led 14-12 with four minutes left.
Argentina sustained some possession in the final three minutes but Folau Niua earned a key penalty just outside the Eagle 22 meter line. The Eagles kicked to touch to milk the clock and earned another penalty with less than 30 seconds left. Niua tapped and ran backwards before running out of bounds to clinch a 14-12 win and a date with South Africa in the semifinals.
The Eagles will play South Africa at 6:08 PM ET.