Argentina 47-17 USA: Pumas bow out with bonus-point win
Last Updated: 13/10/19 5:41pm
Nicolas Sanchez inspired Argentina to bow out of Pool C on a high note with a seven-try 47-17 victory over USA at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium.
The fly-half scored his side's first try of the encounter, and kicked 10 points, as the outfit finished a difficult campaign in Japan.
The victory did ensure that veteran flanker, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, retired on a victorious note and the nation secured their place in four years time after guaranteeing third position in Pool C.
The USA's Blaine Scully recorded a brace and Paul Lasike also found his way over the whitewash but their defensive frailties were punished by Argentina.
The Pumas' qualification hopes were ended after defeats at the hands of France and England and as a result, Mario Ledesma selected a young team for this final pool match.
The USA, who have now managed just three wins in their 26 World Cup games, will hope to end with a fourth from their final game against Tonga but will have to dramatically improve their defence after missing 46 tackles.
Argentina were on top from the start and Mallia set up the first try when he cut through a ragged American defensive line to feed Sanchez on his shoulder after 19 minutes.
Sanchez then set up the second as his short kick took a horrible bounce to wrong-foot Mike Te'o and give Tuculet an unexpected second, followed soon after by his own second and the team's third.
The Americans got on the scoreboard at the end of the half when fly-half AJ MacGinty sent a grubber kick into the corner for captain Scully to scamper on to and touch down.
Bautista Delguy had the crowd on their feet at the start of the second half with an outrageous run from behind his own line and through half a dozen defenders all the way to the halfway line.
He was unable to complete but the next score was only minutes away as Mallia, again untouched, got the fourth, and soon after, an identical fifth after a quick lineout caught the Americans napping. It was then Jeronimo De La Fuente's turn to run in unharried.
The Americans kept going and were rewarded when Lasike showed great strength to smash his way over for their second try.
Bertranou then became the latest to benefit from more great work by Mallia but the U.S. had the final word with Scully's second.