Glendale Colorado was the site of yet further Rugby history over the weekend as Chile qualified for their first ever Rugby World Cup appearance.
The second of a two leg qualification series in which the USA won the first clash in atrocious conditions in Santiago last week.
From here many expected the Eagles to kick on and qualify in front of a home crowd of 4000 spectators.
All was going to plan for the Americans until less than five minutes to go when replacement prop Matías Dittus powered over.
The score put Chile in the lead for the first time on aggregate in the double header. From here the visitors held on to record a famous victory.
USA coach Gary Gold was left speechless as the 2031 World Cup hosts now face an uphill battle to qualify for the tournament as they will have to play through the repechage qualification series.
Welcome to the party, @chilerugby!
You are going to #RWC2023! pic.twitter.com/h3Wvt3skPh
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) July 16, 2022
“We knew they weren’t going away. They didn’t go away in Canada. They didn’t go away against Uruguay. They didn’t go away last weekend … Credit to them for the fight … I’m just really impressed by South American rugby and how it’s turned the corner,” Gold said.
It’s just heart-breaking. I just feel so bad for the boys who tried so hard and it’s just the cruelty of sport and it’s just devastating. I’m not sure what else to say,” he concluded.
Chilean captain Martin Sigren on the other hand was rightly ecstatic with his side’s achievement.
“It really means so much… the sacrifices that this team has done, there were times when it seemed like it was uphill,I want to thank all the family who came here, they were the ones who kept us pushing.”
Chile join fellow South Americans Argentina in Pool D alongside powerhouse England, Japan and Samoa.