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Canada stun USA will play Australia in World Championship final

Ryley Batt works through the defense
Ryley Batt works through the defense
courtesy 2014 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Committee

The United States were stunned in overtime as they were knocked out at the semi-final stage of a major tournament for the second consecutive time as Canada won 59-56 and will take on Australia in the final who beat Japan 60-49.

The United States were looking such a force in their pool games, but, much like in London two years prior, they just could not lift for a higher level of opposition that they met in the semi-finals, fighting well but just falling at the final hurdle to get past the Canadians.

It was one of legendary semi-finals, with the scores never really pushing beyond one through regulation as the sides put on a professional and world class display of Wheelchair Rugby.

After one quarter of pulsating rugby the sides could not be parted, with it 17 a piece heading in to the second. That trend continued in the second half with turnovers rare, and the sides trading goals to keep it 26 a piece in a more defensive quarter.

Canada seemed to struggle more in the third quarter, with their more grueling schedule and gave away the ball too much, which let USA in.

Holding a 33-31 lead with four minutes to play in the third quarter, but Canada fought back, closing the gap to one, heading in to the final eight minutes at 40-39.

The Canadians fought back and with two minutes gone in the final quarter they were level again after a Zak Madell goal leveling the scores at 43.

That remained the score for the quarter, as the sides could just not break away from each other, with scores level at 54 at the end of regulation.

With Canada up by one and possession heading to the USA, Madell forced a turnover and scored, to give Canada the lead, which they would hold on to for a 59-56 overtime win, to knock-out the USA again.

Australia had no such problems as they simply dominated Japan in the other semi-final taking a big 17-12 lead early on, before going on to take a seven point lead at half-time, making it 32-25 with Australia seemingly cruising in to the final.

The Steelers were cruising their way to a victory and built that lead further to make it an eight point lead at the end of the third, 46-38. Before Australia cruised to a 60-49 win, making the World Championship gold and bronze games identical to the London 2012 Paralympics.

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