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Jul 5, 2024 11:38 pm

Canada gets past Venezuela on PKs, reaches Copa semis

Copa America, Canada, Venezuela

Ismael Kone converted the decisive spot kick to take Canada through to the Copa America semifinals on penalties following a 1-1 draw against Venezuela in Arlington, Texas, on Friday night.

Kone sealed a 4-3 win after six attempts per team, with Maxime Crepeau having saved two Venezuela tries while a third missed the target. The Canadians sealed a meeting with Argentina on Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J., in their first ever Copa America appearance.

Argentina won the sides’ previous meeting 2-0 in the tournament opener to commence Group A play.

Jacob Shaffelburg scored Canada’s lone goal, just the team’s second of the tournament, in the 13th minute. Canada ultimately prevailed despite missing several chances to add to its advantage.

Salomon Rondon scored a brilliantly improvised goal from long distance to pull Venezuela level midway through the second half.

However, Venezuela’s all-time leading scorer will have to wait to add to his new career total of 44, as the Vinotinto were eliminated one step shy of what would’ve been only their second all-time Copa America semifinal appearance.

Shaffelburg had Canada in front early on an attack that began on a throw-in from the right.

Alistair Johnston took it and quickly found Jonathan David in a one-on-one scenario, and David drove into the penalty area before spotting Shaffelburg with a low cross toward the near post.

Shaffelburg met the service, and with a first-touch finish, smashed the ball between Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo and his near left post. As Shaffelburg celebrated, he held aloft the No. 17 jersey of teammate Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a tournament-ending broken tibia in training this week.

Canada had numerous chances to add to the lead.

Shaffelburg and Cyle Larin both missed good looks. However, the biggest opportunity lost fell to David, who ran onto Shaffelburg’s cross during yet another dangerous counter and, with only Romo to beat, sent his effort well wide of the right post in the 26th minute.

Rondon’s 64th-minute leveler started when Jon Aramburu cleared the remnants of a long Canada throw-in from near his own box toward the center circle.

As the ball fell to the ground, Rondon outmuscled Moise Bombito to get position to strike it. Then he lobbed a half-volley off the bounce over Crepeau, who was standing beyond the edge of his own penalty area, before it fell inside the 6-yard box and bounced over the line into the roof of the net.

–Field Level Media

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