Canada reaches semifinals of 2024 COPA America

Jacob Shaffelburg (Guy de Borg, Wikimedia Commons)

Team Canada is in the semifinals of the 2024 COPA America. The fact that Canada is in the final four of this elite Americas soccer tournament is significant when you consider the fact this was the first time ever that Canada has been an entrant.

On Friday in the quarterfinals, Canada defeated Venezuela 4-3 on penalty kicks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas after playing just over 90 minutes of regulation time tied at one goal apiece. Remember, unlike the European Soccer Championship which has half an hour of extra time if the game is tied after regulation, the COPA America tournament goes right to penalty kicks.

The Canadian goal scorer in regulation was Jacob Shaffelburg of Kentville, Nova Scotia. The winger who plays for Nashville SC in Major League Soccer, created several scoring chances for Canada in the first half with terrific speed and great passing ability. Shaffelburg’s goal came in the 13th minute. Canada had a 1-0 lead on Venezuela. It was a lead Canada protected for 52 minutes before Venezuela tied the game in the 65th minute.

In penalties, Maxime Crepeau of Greenfield Park, Quebec made two great saves. The four Canadian goal scorers were forward Jonathan David of Ottawa, Ontario, defender Moise Bombito of Montreal, Quebec, left back Alphonso Davies of Edmonton, Alberta, and midfielder Ismael Kone of Montreal.

Canada will next play Argentina in the semifinals on Tuesday in New Jersey. Argentina beat Ecuador 4-2 on penalties after being tied at one in Houston on Thursday. The other quarterfinals take place on Saturday as Colombia faces Panama in Glendale, Arizona and Uruguay faces Brazil in Vegas.

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