The last time these two sides faced off was at the 2015 Pan Am Games, where the United States prevailed by the astonishing margin of 52–0. The teams faced each other at the 2011 Pan Am Games and the USA eked out a 14–7 win. Their only prior meeting in Series competition was a 40–12 win for the United States ath 2008 USA Sevens. More recently, the USA Falcons faced Chile twice in January during the South American Sevens Series. Each match went the way of the South Americans.
The early minutes of the must-win match here in Vegas revealed to the Eagles that Chile was not going to back down. Facing stiff defense, captain Madison Hughes attempted to chip through the Chilean defense, but the ball failed to skirt through cleanly, instead it careened of a Chilean, but Martin Iosefo remained Johnny on the spot for the try. With the conversion missed, team USA stood in front 5–0. Chile probed into the American twenty-two before a turnover and swift cut by Hughes set up a second try for Iosefo. This time, the conversion by Hughes was true, extending the lead to 12–0.
If you have a friend asking why you love rugby sevens, the third try of the half for team USA is the clip that can sum it up. A cracking run into the Chilean half, looked to be a try for Hughes on the right corner, but he was forced to pass and the pass was broken up. Perry Baker rushed in to clean up the loose ball, passed it back into the middle and a kick pass to the outside seconds later sent Danny Barrett over in the left corner for his fourth try of the tournament. As if that weren’t enough, Hughes added the extremely tough kick from the left touch line. Pure magic to give team USA the 19–0 lead.
The second half almost added another for the highlight reel right out of the gate when Baker spun through several tackles before an errant pass eventually led to a Chilean scrum. Chile had a scoring opportunity but foolishly decided to kick ahead against Perry Baker. As you might have guessed, Baker won that race, as he will every day of the week. Unfortunately, Hughes took a blow to the eye in the exchange, forcing him to depart early from the match. The deep twenty-two dropout, gave Chile plenty of room to build an attack. A chip over the line, looked to have worked, but the American defense stood tough, and the Eagles were soon rewarded with a try from Stephen Tomasin. Tomasin added his own conversion to push the shutout to twenty-six in front. With a minute remaining, Patt Blair got in the scorer’s colum. The Eagles won the final restart, but soon conceded a penalty. With time expiring, a step around Matai Leuta and Folau Niua gave Chile one last chance of getting some points. The USA defense stood tall and forced a penalty at their own five-meter. With the kick out of the back of in-goal. United States 31, Chile 0. Team USA caps Day 1 undefeated. If England defeats Samoa in the next match, the Eagles will start Day 2 with a quarterfinal birth secured.