Canada Extinguished Venezuela’s Dreams and Eliminated Them From the 2024 Copa America on Penalties

Canada vs Venezuela
Canada vs Venezuela (Credit: Getty Images)

With a great dose of drama and suspense that the best Hollywood screenwriter would envy, the debuting Canadian team ended Venezuela’s dream in the 2024 Copa America by eliminating them in an intense and fateful series of penalties where the Maple Leaf squad ended up winning 4-3, after intense 90 minutes that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Now Canada will face the powerful Argentina in the semi-finals, an illusion that the Venezuelans cherished and nourished after their spectacular first phase with three victories in Group B over Ecuador 2-1, Mexico 1-0, and Jamaica 3-0, but in fact, the weight of being favorites took them to unknown territory and in the end made them pay a very high price.

An unexpected result because the team led by “King Solomon” Rondon came into the match against the Canadians as the favorite after their spectacular first phase that led to more than 50,000 Venezuelans filling the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas on Friday, hoping to enjoy a well-deserved qualification to the semifinals to face Argentina.

But the unconditional support for Venezuela seemed to play against the Venezuelans, as it was Canada that started off strong on the attack with two attacks by Jonathan David that made Rafael Romo’s goal tremble. But that warning did not seem to alarm the South Americans, as moments later Jacob Shaffelburg scored the 1-0 with a cross from David and a shot at the near post by Romo that he could not do to avoid the goal against them.

Venezuela, in their eagerness to react, did not mind extending the pitch, trying to allow Eduard Bello, José Martínez, Yangel Herrera, Yeferson Soteldo, and Salomon Rondon to connect in the Canadians’ dangerous zone, but instead of achieving their goal, wanting to win more with haste than with precision, they opened their lines and Shaffelburg, who by the way has the nickname “Messi Marino”, almost scored the second goal that would have been fatal.

Even in the following play, the MLS Nashville striker took the lead role by putting a ball to David who incredibly missed his shot, but the serious thing was not that, but that Canada did what it wanted and the minimal advantage seemed poor compared to what was seen on the field to the point that the Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was barely bothered on the field.

Adjustments revived Venezuela

For the second half, just like what happened against Mexico, coach Fernando Batista made adjustments that restored faith and joy on the field for the Venezuelans, because at the beginning of the hostilities, Jose “Brujo” Martínez could have tied the game, but his shot just went over the crossbar of Crepeau’s goal.

These actions, combined with the fact that Canada no longer attacked as in the first half, gave Venezuela more opportunities, but the anxiety of its forwards caused actions such as that of Eduard Bello in the 58th minute to be wasted.

But the pitcher was so much in the well that at 64 minutes Salomon Rondon, with his great field vision, took advantage of the fact that goalkeeper Crepeau was having a field day to score a goal with a shot almost from midfield that caught the Canadian goalkeeper returning and with no chance of avoiding the fall of his goal for 1-1.

From that moment on, the game broke up and each of the two opponents had chances to create danger, but in the end, both Rafael Romo and Crepeau made moves to prevent goals from coming to their goals, causing the stadium to erupt in ecstasy due to the great effort of both teams and which gave way to the luck of the penalties to decide Argentina’s rival in the semi-finals.

The heart-stopping disputes between Venezuela and Canada

In the penalty shootout, the victory was finally decided when Ismael Kone hit his shot in sudden death, unlike his predecessor Wilker Angel, who was unable to get his sixth shot into the net, leaving the Maple Leaf team ready to celebrate the victory when Kone hit his shot and put them back as opponents of the world champions in the current 2024 Copa America.

In the shootout, Venezuela’s goals were scored by Salomon Rondon, Tomas Rincon, and John Cadiz, while Yangel Herrera, Jeferson Savarino, and Wilker Angel missed. Canada’s goals were scored by Jonathan David, Moses Bombito, Alphonso Davies, and Ismael Kone, while Liam Millar and Stephen Eustaquio missed.

Read More: France Into Semi-finals After Beating Portugal in Penalties in Cristiano Ronaldo’s Euro Farewell

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