Sports

Canada eliminates Venezuela on penalties

Copa America debutants will face Argentina in the next round

Canada claimed a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Venezuela on Friday to reach the Copa America semi-finals for the first time, following a gripping 1-1 draw at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

With the score level after five penalties each in the shootout, Wilker Angel’s spot-kick was saved by Maxime Crepeau, and Ismael Kone converted the decisive penalty to propel Canada into the semi-finals. Canada, making their Copa America debut, will face Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday for a chance to play in the July 14 final.

This semi-final clash will be a rematch of the tournament opener, where the defending champions Argentina secured a 2-0 victory.

Canada, who managed just one goal in their three group stage matches, began the quarter-final with unexpected urgency. Their pressure paid off in the 13th minute when Jacob Shaffelburg finished a Jonathan David cross. Shaffelburg celebrated by holding up the jersey of teammate Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a broken leg in training earlier this week.

Venezuela eventually found the equalizer in the 64th minute through Rondon, who spotted Crepeau off his line and executed a brilliant lob over the scrambling goalkeeper. This marked Rondon’s 44th goal for Venezuela.

Canada responded well, with substitute Liam Millar having a tight-angle shot saved in the 67th minute, and Tani Oluwaseyi firing two shots over the crossbar within a span of four minutes. The match ended 1-1, setting the stage for the penalty shootout where Canada ultimately triumphed.

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