Chile defeats USA to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023

Chilean players celebrate qualifying for RWC 2023. (Rugby World Cup/Twitter)

Chile advanced to Rugby World Cup for the first time on Saturday with an anesthetic 31-29 Victory over the host United States to win a two-legged overall qualifier.

Santiago Videla’s 75th-minute penalty put Los Condores ahead for the first time and gave them the decisive advantage in Glendale, Colorado.

That was enough to give Chile a shocking 52-51 aggregate victory despite the Americans’ 22-21 triumph in Santiago last weekend and send the South American side to France for next year’s global rugby showdown.

“It really means so much… the sacrifices made by this team. There were times when it looked like things were going up,” said Chilean captain Martin Sigren.

“I want to thank all the family who came here. They were the ones who pushed us further.”

Chile secured a place in Pool D at the 2023 World Cup alongside England, Argentina, Japan and Samoa.

Despite the defeat, the Eagles can still come to France in 2023 with a final qualifier in November against Portugal, Kenya and the play-off losers from Asia/Pacific.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said US captain AJ MacGinty. “We worked hard for our goals, especially in the first half.

“But respect to Chile. We really had our foot in our throats in the first half. I saw them under their posts and they had a lost look in their eyes but they fought back and played fair to them.”

The United States, confirmed in May to host the 2031 Rugby World Cup, missed the event just once and failed to qualify for the 1995 edition in South Africa.

It was a shocking turnaround for a Chilean team that had been humiliated for years by the Eagles in the Tournament of the Americas.

The United States had beaten Chile 71-8 in that round-robin event in 2019, 45-13 in 2018, 57-9 in 2017 and 64-0 in 2016.

The Eagles had gained a 20-point aggregate lead before Chile recovered.

The US men took a 7-0 lead in the 11th minute when Martin Iosefo chipped the ball forward and Ruben de Haas tapped it back to Iosefo to convert the MacGinty try.

Iosefo dived over the try line in the corner in the 24th minute, MacGinty made it 14-0, and MacGinty added another try in the 31st minute to make it 19-0.

But Eagles lock Nick Civetta was sent into the trap in the 32nd minute and Chile capitalized on attempts from Marcelo Torrealba in the 35th and Matias Garafulic in the 39th with conversions from Videla to go inside 19-14 at half-time draw.

Joe Taufete’e peeled off a maul to score a try in the 48th minute and MacGinty added a conversion to give the Eagles a 26-14 lead.

Los Condores responded to Videla’s try and conversion in the 51st minute, improving within 26-21.

MacGinty added a penalty in the 58th minute but Chile responded with a try from substitute Matias Dittus in the 65th minute and Videla’s conversion sent the visitors up within 29:28.

When Videla converted a penalty in the 75th minute, it was enough to fly Los Condores to France and knock the Eagles to the ground.

Chile defeats USA to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023

Source link Chile defeats USA to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023

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