fiji, BRAZIL RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES.jpg
Kitione Taliga (L) of Fiji scores a try despite a tackle from Matias Moroni of Argentina during the men's Rugby Sevens Pool A match between Fiji and Argentina of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 09 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/YOAN VALAT

A shock win over New Zealand in the rugby sevens has carried Fiji into the semi-finals of the men's tournament and put the country on the verge of a first-ever Olympic medal.

Reigning two-time world series champions Fiji defeated the New Zealanders 12-7 in the quarter-finals Wednesday now meet Japan on Thursday.

A win in that match would guarantee a historic gold or silver medal while defeat would send them into the bronze medal game with the loser of Britain v South Africa.

"The Olympics is the mecca of sports, so we had to not let it get into our heads," Fiji's Osea Kolinisau said after scoring seven points in the win. "We have to be humble and treat every game as a final."

Fiji opened the scoring with a Kolinisau try but missed the conversion and when Gillies Kaka scored a converted try, New Zealand led at the interval.

Early in the second half Josua Tuwai touched down for Fiji's second try and with Kolinisau successfully taking over conversion duties they had the lead which delivered victory.

"Obviously we are disappointed to lose today but we were in a with a chance right to the end," New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said. "But we are not looking for an excuse. Fiji deservedly beat us."

New Zealand's campaign was damaged by injuries including captain and 15-a-side World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams partially tearing his Achilles tendon.

Japan earned their semi-final spot by beating France 12-7, South Africa downed Australia 22-5 and Britain edged Argentina 5-0 in extra-time.

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