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Ian Muir photo

Team USA lost a heartbreaker to Scotland, 21-14, Saturday in the cup semifinals. The Eagles made a crucial error of their own to nullify a scoring effort, and the officiating completed the job on the last possession to send Scotland to the final and USA to the bronze-medal match at 12:32 p.m. ET.

The Eagles looked to be over when Andrew Durutalo trucked one defender inside the attacking 22 and dished to Ben Pinkleman, but he was tackled into touch just short of pay dirt. Scotland went with the quick lineout and put the USA under stress. Eventually Dougie Fife spotted a gap and hit it for the opening score.

The Americans took the restart, and seconds later Perry Baker was around his counterpart, slicing back inside the sweeper, and under the posts. Both kicks were converted, making it 7-7 at the break.

Folau Niua crossed the line first in the second half, but he was tackled in-goal and knocked on, erasing a great team effort to get him there. Niua could have slid in, but opted to initiate contact, and it resulted in a scrum to Scotland.

Scotland worked the ball upfield after An American penalty, but Martin Iosefo won the ball back at the breakdown. Then Scotland did the same thing, and it was on that possession that an exhausted American team bent enough for Scotland to break the stalemate.

The restart was taken with about 90 seconds to play, and the Eagles didn’t have to do anything special to set Baker free on the touch line. Madison Hughes stroked over the point break conversion to level the table.

There was just enough time for another kickoff, and Iosefo got his hand on the ball in the air to tip it back, but Scotland was in place and claimed possession. Mark Farndale made a massive gash up the left touch line before the USA was put under the pump by the referees.

There was a tackle, Ben Pinkleman went for the ball and was neckrolled off of it. The assistant referee called in a penalty from the sideline, and miscommunication and apparent short-term memory loss from the assistant referee led center referee Rasta Rashivenge to actually award a penalty for neck-rolling to the USA, the team which was neck-rolled. Scotland scored second later when Nacavou was tackled by Folau Niua just short of pay dirt and allowed to kick his legs free from Niua, get up and dive over the line.