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HomeCANADACanada triumphs over Venezuela in penalty shootout, advances to Copa America semifinals

Canada triumphs over Venezuela in penalty shootout, advances to Copa America semifinals

ARLINGTON, Texas, July 5: In a thrilling quarter final clash, Canada reached the semifinals of its first-ever Copa America, defeating Venezuela 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw on Friday night. Ismael Koné netted the decisive penalty in the sixth round after goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau’s third save.

Jacob Shaffelburg opened the scoring for Canada in the 13th minute, but Venezuela’s Salomón Rondón equalized in the 64th minute. The win set up a rematch with world champions Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

During the shootout, both teams scored three times in the initial five rounds, prompting an additional session. Crépeau’s crucial save against Jhonder Cádiz quieted the pro-Venezuelan crowd of 51,080 at the Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium, and Koné’s successful penalty clinched the victory.

Venezuela, ranked 54th, leveled the score when Jon Aramburu’s long pass led to a battle between Rondón and Canada’s Moïse Bombito near midfield. Rondón capitalized on Crépeau being out of position, lofting the ball over the scrambling keeper into the net.

Canada, ranked 48th, had only scored one goal in group play but matched that in the knockout stage with Shaffelburg’s early goal, assisted by Jonathan David. Shaffelburg celebrated by holding up the No. 17 jersey of teammate Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a severe leg injury in practice.

Rondón had two early header attempts saved, and shortly after his goal, Shaffelburg’s dangerous shot from inside the box was deflected by Venezuelan keeper Rafael Romo. Eduard Bello also had a chance for Venezuela, but his redirected corner kick landed on top of the net following a leaping deflection from Crépeau.

Shaffelburg received a yellow card in the 36th minute after returning too quickly from an injury. He was temporarily sidelined, leaving Canada a man down briefly before returning to play.

Canada’s historic win propels them into a high-stakes semifinal against Argentina, promising an exciting matchup on Tuesday night.

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