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Coming into the Cup rounds, there were three teams vying for Olympic qualification in Amsterdam. France was eliminated by Canada in the quarters, but the USA and England advanced, leaving two playing for a ticket to Rio. Both lost in the Cup Semifinals, England to Australia and the USA to Canada, leaving it all to play for in the Cup consolation at 11:04 a.m. ET.
Should the Eagles win, they’ll finish in fourth place free and clear, winning an Olympic berth. Should England win, it would clinch the berth via a tiebreaker – overall Series point differential. The USA is 143 points in the black (723 for/580 against) and ENG plus-211 (671 for/460 against).
Against Canada, the Eagles were two fluke tries and about 15 meters from claiming fourth place and advancing to the Cup Final. Captain Kelly Griffin threw a gruesome interception into the hands of Ghislaine Landry, who easily walked into the try zone, to put the USA in a 7-0 hole after two minutes.
The Eagles responded with a Megan Bonny try. It took an incredibly well-worked and elongated series of phases to break down the Canadian defense for the USA to cross over. Bui Baravilala converted, leveling the table at 7-7.
The Eagles tried to mount another scoring possession, but Katy Johnson was penalized at a breakdown near the attacking 22. Canada opted for a lineout, won it cleanly, Landry kicked ahead and Magali Harvey wrangled in the ball after Kristen Thomas slid on it but failed to claim it. Magali ran in, pushing Canada up 12-7 at the break.
Canada extended that lead through Karen Paquin at the onset of the second half. A 50/50 high tackle call on Thomas set Canada up with prim attacking opportunity and Paquin capitalized. The conversion put Canada up 19-7.
After a flurry of Canadian penalties led to a yellow card for Landry, Katy Johnson was able to dot down. Baravilala converted, making it a one-score game with a minute-and-a-half to play – 19-14.
Lauren Doyle made a break and appeared to be off for the try line, but Landry, just back on, made a game-saving cover tackle. The USA wouldn’t touch the ball again, pushing the matter of Olympic qualification to the third-place match against England.