Chile beats USA to qualify for World Cup
REPORT: Chile advanced to the World Cup for the first time on Saturday with a stunning 31-29 victory over the host United States to win a two-leg aggregate qualifier.
Santiago Videla’s penalty in the 75th minute put Los Condores ahead for the first time and produced the final margin at Glendale, Colorado.
That was enough to give Chile the overall aggregate victory despite the Americans’ 22-21 triumph last weekend in Santiago and send the South American squad into next year’s global rugby showdown in France.
Chile secured a spot in Pool D at the World Cup alongside England, Argentina, Japan and Samoa.
Despite the defeat, the Eagles can still make it to France in 2023 through a final qualification tournament later this year.
The United States, confirmed in May as the host nation for the 2031 Rugby World Cup, has missed the event only once, failing to qualify for the 1995 edition in South Africa.
Joe Taufete’e peeled off a maul and scored a try in the 48th minute and US captain AJ MacGinty added a conversion to lift the Eagles ahead 26-14.
Los Condores answered in the 51st minute on Videla’s try and conversion, climbing back within 26-21.
MacGinty added a penalty in the 58th but Chile answered with a try from Matias Dittus in the 65th minute and Videla’s conversion lifted the visitors within 29-28.
When Videla kicked a penalty in the 75th minute, it was enough to send Los Condores flying to France and the Eagles plunging to the ground.
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 for the try with MacGinty converting.
Iosefo dove into the corner over the try line in the 24th minute with MacGinty making it 14-0 and MacGinty added another try in the 31st minute.
But Eagles lock Nick Civetta was sent to the sin bin in the 32nd minute and Chile capitalized on tries by Marcelo Torrealba in the 35th minute and Matias Garafulic in the 39th with conversions by Videla to pull within 19-14 at half-time.