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Danny Barrett running through Portugal. Ian Muir photo

The Eagles improved to 2-0 with a 28-12 defeat of Portugal Saturday in London, punching their ticket to another Cup Quarterfinal appearance. The game was in doubt until midway through the second half, when the USA pulled away from a tired Portuguese side.

Portugal was on the offensive first, owning the first 90 seconds of possession. Os Lobos were inches from scoring first, too, but Garrett Bender managed to pull a ball carrier into touch at the last minute.

Off the lineout from their own fiver-meter line, the Eagles got the ball to Perry Baker with some space. He left Aderito Esteves and the Portuguese sweeper in his dust for a 100-meter score. Madison Hughes traveled the 100 meters at his own pace to bang through the conversion.

Portugal finally got its reward after a very long, exhausting run of play. The Eagles were turned over in their end, and Portugal was patient enough to set Diogo Miranda free for a converted score right on halftime.

Portugal’s Nuno Guedes put Os Lobos on top early in the second half with a try. Baker was called for playing the ball off his feet in a ruck deep in the American end, and Guedes found a hole seconds later for the score.

Barrett capped off a sustained possession for the Eagles, splitting a gap to put them back on top 14-12 following a conversion. The drive was sparked by a charging run by Bender. Unufe tacked on another shortly thereafter to close the door, cruising in easily off a penalty play.

Portugal seemed to want off the field after that, and Madison Hughes was the recipient of an offload from Martin Iosefo for another try on full-time, flattering the final score line.