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The United States won a thrilling 28-21 come from behind victory against Canada to move to 2-0 at the Canada 7s. Kevon Williams took the ball 95 meters well after the hooter sounded to send Canada to heartbreak.
The Canadians got off to a strong start after an unforced error from Perry Baker. The World Rugby 7s player of the year threw a lazy forward pass while under no pressure to set up Canada in a good attacking position inside Eagle territory. A well-executed scrum play saw Canada slip in under the posts for a 7-0 lead.
The Eagles moved the ball down the field inside the Canadian 22 meter line but turned the ball over at the breakdown. Justin Douglass found space down the right sideline and it took it the distance for a 14-0 lead.
The United States stemmed the momentum, one again thanks to tremendous creativity from Folau Niua. After the Canada score, Niua received a pass in the middle of the field and faked a pass to Baker in the centers. He found a half gap and popped the ball back inside on a well-executed switch to Baker at pace. The speedster scooted past the sweeper to cut the lead in half.
With no time remaining on the clock Ben Pinkelman earned a penalty at the breakdown and the Eagles had one more opportunity to attack before the break. Baker got the ball out wide and keenly kicked the ball ahead. With no sweeper in sight, Baker outpaced the defense and calmly collected the ball to score. Niua nailed the conversion to even the game.
The Americans got their third consecutive score right after halftime. Baker pounced on a bounding kickoff and popped it inside to Pinkelman. The Colorado State product kept the legs pumping, dragging a defender with him. One phase later, the Eagles outflanked Canada and Matai Leuta scored in the corner for a 21-14 lead.
Sloppy play from the Eagles resulted in the game tying score for Canada. Martin Iosefo found a gap but a penalty deep in Canada territory ended the attack. Canada made gains into USA territory and the ball bounced out of a ruck right outside the USA 22 meter line. John Moonlight picked it up and shrugged off several defenders to score under the posts.
With less than three minutes to play the USA had another attack fail and result in a Canada scrum inside their own 22. Ferocious defense from the Eagles nearly led to a turnover but a penalty bailed the host side out. This occurred a second time towards the middle of the field and Canada elected to go for touch.
The kick did not find touch and Martin Iosefo scrambled back to pick it up. He was able to buy himself some time after being tackled by releasing the ball, getting to his feet and picking it up. The ball was then swung right inside the Eagles 22 meter and began bounding backwards. Baker ended up with the ball in his own try zone and did wonders to get out of the in goal.
After a few phases to get a few meters, Niua found a crashing Williams who took it the distance for an exhilarating finish two minutes after the clock expired.
With the win, United States advances to the Cup rounds tomorrow. They will play Australia at 10:08 PM ET.