Copa América
Canada upsets Venezuela to advance to Copa América semifinals
Copa América

Canada upsets Venezuela to advance to Copa América semifinals

Published Jul. 5, 2024 11:28 p.m. ET

In its first Copa América appearance, Canada is off to the semifinals.

The Canadians continued their surprising run at USA 2024 by upsetting Venezuela on penalty kicks following a 1-1 tie in Friday's quarterfinal match at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

Led by American coach Jesse Marsch, Canada opened the scoring just 13 minutes in through Jacob Shaffelburg. They maintained the lead until well into the second half, when former Premier League striker Salomón Rondón scored a spectacular equalizer by chipping Reds keeper Maxime Crépeau from 40 yards. 

Crépeau more than redeemed himself in the shootout, though, making two saves to put youngster Ismaël Koné in position to pot the winner. Koné stepped up and calmly slotted the ball by keeper Rafael Romo with Canada's final attempt from 12 yards. 


Canada will now meet Lionel Messi and defending Copa América and World Cup champion Argentina in the semis on Tuesday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Here are a few quick thoughts on Friday's match.

Play of the game

Canada had a number of chances in the first half before and after their opener. Like most of those opportunities, the one that the Northerners converted came following a spell of sustained attacking pressure. Jonathan David — who scored Canada's only goal in the group stage in a 1-0 win over Peru — put two Venezuelan defenders on their heels by running onto a quick throw-in before squaring a short pass to Shaffelburg. Shaffelburg stabbed the ball past Romo from six yards out:

Afterward, the Nashville SC winger celebrated by holding up the jersey of Reds teammate Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a broken leg in training earlier this week.

Turning point

Canada has been strong defensively all tournament, so it seemed as though Shaffelburg's tally had a good chance of standing up as the game winner. That all changed when Rondón spotted Crépeau off his line and made him pay.

It was anyone's game to win after that, especially once the game went directly to penalties at the end of the 90 minutes. Fortunately for TK, they were the ones who held their nerves. 

Key stat

It's another historic achievement for Canada's program, which broke a 36-year drought between World Cup appearances in 2022. This Copa has been a tournament of firsts for Marsch's men, who had never even won a major tournament game before this summer. Now they have three, all against South American opposition. 

What's next for Venezuela?

The only South American team never to have appeared at a World Cup, La Vinotinto are clearly a team on the come-up despite Friday's defeat. They won their group at this Copa. And they sit fourth in CONMEBOL's World Cup qualifying competition, two spots ahead of Brazil. Venezuela continues its path to the 2026 event with September matches at Bolivia and at home to Uruguay

What's next for Canada?

A rematch with Messi & Co. Marsch's side opened the tournament last month with a 2-0 loss to the Albiceleste in Atlanta, though they made it harder on the trophy holders than the scoreline might suggest. Now they'll get a chance to stun FIFA's No. 1-ranked team. It's not impossible. Argentina barely eked past Ecuador on Thursday, giving up a stoppage time equalizer and surviving a missed penalty shootout attempt by the GOAT before ultimately advancing in the tiebreaker.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports who has covered the United States men's and women's national teams at FIFA World Cups on five continents. Follow him at @ByDougMcIntyre.


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