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Saturday, 06 July 2024 10:49

Canada stun Venezuela on penalties to reach Copa semis.

Staff Reporter.

Canada are through to the Copa America semi-finals after beating Venezuela 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in Texas.

Ismael Kone converted the decisive spot-kick after Wilker Angel's effort had been saved by goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon had earlier scored a stunning 65-yard lob to cancel out Jacob Shaffelburg's early strike as the sides could not be separated after 120 minutes.

Tournament debutants Canada will now face world champions Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday in a repeat of the tournament opener, which holders Argentina won 2-0.

"We're going to face the best team in the world in the semi-finals. We're excited about it," said Canada coach Jesse Marsch, who was only appointed in May.

"We're going to have to play the best game we can play against Argentina and even then it may not be enough."

Venezuela coach Fernando Batista says he wants to use the disappointment to fuel their bid to qualify for the World Cup.

Venezuela are the only South American team never to have qualified for a World Cup, but currently sit fourth in qualifying for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

"I leave with anger for losing on penalties, without losing a game in 90 minutes, but I leave proud of my players, who had a tremendous Copa America," said Batista, whose side won all three group games.

"The team has more and more character. We have to chew our cud and focus on [World Cup] qualification, which is our main objective. We'll keep going forward."