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ARLINGTON, Texas: Canada advanced to the semifinals of the Copa America on Friday after beating Venezuela 4-3 on penalties after the 90-minute match ended 1-1.

Jacob Shaffelburg gave Canada the lead in the 13th minute, but Salomon Rondon equalized in the 64th minute before Canada won the penalty shootout to secure a semi-final clash with world champions Argentina.

The Canadians are taking part in the Copa America for the first time under US coach Jesse Marsch, who only took over the team in mid-May, and showed relentless pressing in the fast-paced match.

Both teams failed to score twice in the penalty shootout, so the score was 3:3 after five penalties each and the match went into the sudden death phase.

Canada’s goalkeeper Max Crepeau, who made a serious mistake on Venezuela’s equaliser, made up for his mistake by saving Wilker Angel’s shot.

This gave Ismael Kone the chance to win the game. He converted a cool penalty and sparked celebrations in front of 51,080 mostly Venezuelan fans.

Canada played against Argentina in the opening game of the group stage, lost 2-0 to the defending champions and will once again start the semifinals as a clear underdog.

But after a performance full of remarkable energy and determination against a Venezuelan team that won all three group stage games, Marsch is convinced his team can pull off another upset and reach the final on July 14 in Miami.

Canada came out of the starting blocks at full steam, gave Venezuela little time on the ball and took a large lead in the early stages.

“Vinotinto” goalkeeper Rafael Romo had to rush out of his penalty area to stop Cyle Larin when he sent a ball over the bar, but he was powerless when the Canadians took the lead a few minutes later.

Jonathan David hurried in from the right and winger Shaffelburg arrived just in time to fire the ball into the bottom corner.

Shaffelburg, a speedy left winger who plays for Nashville in Major League Soccer, then forced Romo into a diving save and then delivered a low cross that David couldn’t finish.

Canada went all out and Richie Laryea shot the ball across the box, but David, who was stretching, could not reach it.

Larin missed a great chance shortly after the break when he found the ball free in the penalty area, but leaned back and fired his shot well over the bar.

Marsch’s aggressive tactics slowly took their toll on his players, and as they tired, Venezuela came into the game better and better.

Jose Martinez should have done better when a poor clearance fell at his feet in the penalty area, but his shot went wide.

But then Rondon won a long ball forward, discovered Crepeau far in front of his goal and from 32 meters the experienced striker conjured up a perfect lob to overcome the helpless goalkeeper and make it 1-1.

Canada still had chances to win the game in regular time, but neither Liam Millar nor Tani Oluwaseyi, who both came on as substitutes, were able to ensure a calm finish.

Since there was no extra time at the Copa America, the match went straight to penalties and after Rondon and David had both scored, Yangel Herrera hit the post for Venezuela.

Millar then put his shot over the bar and after Tomas Rincon scored for Venezuela, Moise Bombito equalised for Canada.

But Jefferson Savarino hit the post and Canadian Stephen Eustaquio’s weak attempt was saved by Romo before both teams scored to make it 3-3.

Then Crepeau dove into Angel’s attack in sudden death and gave Kone the pressure shot for the win, which he mastered with ease.

“Everyone has to realize the respect that this country and these footballers deserve,” Crepeau told Fox Sports.

“Everyone says ‘those Canadians’, but those Canadians are in the semi-finals of the Copa America.”

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