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Canada Edges Venezuela on Penalties to Reach Copa America Semifinals

Canada Edges Venezuela on Penalties to Reach Copa America Semifinals

Canada made history by reaching the Copa America semifinals for the first time after a dramatic 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Venezuela. The match ended 1-1 after extra time at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

In the penalty shootout, with both teams having converted their first five attempts, Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau made a crucial save against Wilker Ángel, allowing Ismael Kone to score the winning penalty. “Emotions are running high, I’m so happy for everyone who is supporting us,” Crepeau said after the match. “This is amazing to be in the semifinals of Copa America.”

Canada, making their debut in the tournament, will face Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday for a chance to reach the July 14 final. This upcoming semifinal will be a rematch of the tournament’s opener, which Argentina won 2-0.

In the match, Canada took an early lead when Jacob Shaffelburg scored in the 13th minute, finishing off a cross from Jonathan David. Shaffelburg dedicated his goal to teammate Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a broken leg in training earlier this week. Canada had several opportunities to extend their lead in the first half, but Shaffelburg and David failed to convert their chances.

Venezuela, despite having more possession, struggled to break through Canada’s defense. Salomón Rondón, Venezuela’s all-time leading goalscorer, managed to equalize in the 64th minute with a clever lob over Crepeau, marking his 44th international goal.

The match remained tied through extra time, with both teams creating chances but failing to score. In the shootout, Crepeau’s two saves and Kone’s decisive penalty secured Canada’s spot in the semifinals.

This victory marks a significant achievement for Canada, who are the fourth Concacaf team to reach the Copa America semifinals, joining the ranks of Mexico, Honduras, and the United States.

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