THE Fiji sevens team edged United States 21-19 to advance into the cup semi-final of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Las Vegas yesterday.
After overcoming Portugal 21-14 in the final pool match, Fiji qualified into the top eight knockout competition without skipper Setefano Cakau and hardworking forward Manueli Laqai who both coped suspensions for dangerous play. However, losing their skipper and Laqai was a huge motivation for Fiji as they maintained their composure to shrug off the pressure from the home team, USA.
Red Rock forward Jasa Veremalua scored Fiji's try following a break from Jone Vota. Playmaker Joji Ragamate converted the try to even the score 7-all at the break.
Ilai Tinai had Fiji on the scoreboard early in the second spell before replacement Luke Hume equalised for USA 14-all.
Hard working Vota was rewarded for his efforts with a try to give Fiji a 21-14 lead in the fifth minute of the second spell.
USA never gave up and were determined to turn the table against the Fijians. The home supporters boosted their campaign with Hume again finding himself in the corner.
Ace kicker Folau Niua could not add the extra two points failing to level scores.
Fiji faces New Zealand in the cup semi-final at 7.32 today. The cup final will be played at 10.25