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The United States has a date with New Zealand in the Cup Finals thanks to a 19-14 victory over Russia. Like the matchup in pool play, the Eagles jumped out to a 19-0 lead and held on after two Russian scores to earn a berth in the Cup Final.
On the opening kickoff, the referee ruled that a Russian player had committed a penalty for hitting a man in the air. Despite the Russian staying down with an apparent head injury, the referee went to her pocket for a yellow card seconds into the match. Although the Eagles maintained a man advantage for the first two minutes, they were unable to break down the Russian defense. Russia forced a turnover at the breakdown and spent much of the time down a man maintain possession.
Although the Eagles squandered the man advantage, it was the Eagles that struck first. Vix Folayan darted down the left flank, fending off a tackler for a score and the 5-0 lead.
The Eagles maintained possession and territory for the remainder of the first half, and the Russians were fortunate not to receive another yellow card for a high tackle. A knock on ended the Eagle attack and the United States but a great read and an intercept with no time on the clock by Lauren Doyle gave the Eagles a try under the posts. The Eagles went in 12-0 at the break.
Russia tried to mount an attack and received a man advantage when Alev Kelter was sent to the bin for a malicious tackle. Vix Folayan, however, forced a penalty at the breakdown and on the ensuing possession smashed through two defenders for a try while down a player.
With a little over three minutes left, Russia broke through the line for their first score of the game. With the conversion, the Eagles led 19-7. The Eagles managed to move down the field after the restart but a penalty gave the ball back to Russia. Russia worked down the field with a number of pick and goes and managed to score a try right after the horn sounded. After the successful conversion, there was no time fore a restart and the final whistle blew at 19-14.
The United States used tremendous defense and timely offense to upend Russia for the second time this weekend. The Eagles will face New Zealand in a rematch in the Cup Final this evening. New Zealand narrowly defeated Canada in the other semi-final.