Copa America 2024: Canada faces Venezuela

Copa America 2024: Canada faces Venezuela
Copa America 2024: Canada faces Venezuela


History is at stake for both Venezuela and Canada when they meet on Friday in Arlington, Texas, in the second Copa America quarter-final.


Long considered one of the minnows of South American football, Venezuela would guarantee tying their best Copa America showing by advancing past Canada, ensuring they at least match their fourth-place finish in 2011.


“We know that we have to motivate ourselves a little bit more than maybe how we motivated ourselves for the group phase,” Venezuela manager Fernando Batista said, through an interpreter.


“Because we are very close to surpassing the best performance historically of Venezuela in Copa America. We know it’s important.”


Venezuela won all three of their Group B matches but perhaps rode their luck a bit in the process, aided by Enner Valencia’s early red card in a 2-1 win over Ecuador and Orbelin Pineda’s penalty miss in a 1-0 win over Mexico.


In their first Copa America appearance, Canada also got some breaks in their path to the quarter-finals, defeating Peru 1-0 and drawing Chile 0-0 in matches in which both opponents received red cards.


Canada’s one goal, scored via Jonathan David, is the fewest among teams that advanced and they will be without winger Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a broken tibia in training following the Chile draw that clinched the second-place finish in Group A.


“There’s so much room for improvement,” manager Jesse Marsch said after the Chile draw.


“But I have to say the overall mentality and commitment to try to be the team that we want to become has been at the highest level I’ve seen of any team I’ve worked with.


“That part I’ve really enjoyed. I’m proud of them, but more so, I’m happy for them.”


(Reporting by Field Level Media; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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