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Ian Muir photo

Mike Friday’s squad fell just a few minutes short of returning to the London 7s cup final Sunday at Twickenham, losing 24-17 to Scotland. The Eagles led 17-7 midway through the second half, but a flurry of Scottish tries pulled the plug on American cup hopes. Team USA will now face Fiji, who is likely to be in the Eagles’ pool at the Olympics, in the consolation match.

Scotland controlled possession early on, switching the ball from sideline to sideline several times while inching up field. Just as it looked like the USA would go down to start, Martin Iosefo made a tackle at the try line, forcing a knock on. The Eagles won the ensuing scrum, but Folau Niua tried to force a kick under pressure, the ball careened off the Scottish defender, and the ball was scooped and scored by Scotland. 

Danny Barrett drew the USA level in the third minute. Ben Pinkelman made the initial break, and Barrett hammered through Scott Wight en route to pay dirt. Iosefo leapt to win the restart, and Test ran a clever line off him for the easy score. Neither try was converted, so the Eagles led 10-7.

James Farndale made a threatening run right on halftime, and Test scurried to make a try-saving tackle on the wing. He made the stop but was seemingly knocked unconscious in the process. He was carted off, and Thretton Palamo came on at halftime to replace him.

A minute into the second half, Palamo made his presence felt. He dummied his opposite and fended his way through the line en route to a try. The conversion was made, putting the USA up 17-7. 

Scotland got a try back midway through the half. A long skip pass stressed the American defense, and Scotland broke free before the Eagles could get reorganized. Doug Fife put Scotland ahead after some mishandling saw Iosefo ground the ball in his own try zone. Scotland won the attacking scrum and Fife found his way in, making it 19-17.

The USA had a minute to make the game winner happen and won the restart. Baker got the ball on the wing, but he hesitated, and Scotland's defense moved into the USA’s back line. He flipped a pass to Barrett in the pocket, but it was bobbled, and Barrett desperately threw it back into the field of play before it dribbled into touch. Scotland picked it off and added a try at the death.