Canada beats Venezuela on penalties to reach Copa America last four

Aelington, July 6 (UNI) Ismael Kone converted the decisive spot kick as Canada booked a place in the Copa America semifinals on Friday with a dramatic victory over Venezuela on penalties.

Jacob Shaffelburg gave Canada the lead in the quarterfinal with a superbly worked team goal before Salomon Rondon put in a bid for goal of the tournament with a 40-yard lob just after the hour.

With no extra time, the game went straight to penalties and nerves seemed to get the better of both sides as they each converted just two of their opening four attempts.

Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau saved Venezuela’s sixth spot kick from Wilker Angel before Kone calmly rolled his shot into the bottom left corner as the North American side prevailed 4-3 in the shootout.

Canada, playing in the Copa America for the first time, will now meet Argentina in the semifinals at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on July 9.

Les Rouges went ahead in the 13th minute at AT&T Stadium when Shaffelburg beat goalkeeper Rafael Romo at his near post with a first-time effort after Jonathan David’s run and cross from the right side of the penalty area.

Venezuela’s equalizer came after a monumental mistake from Crepeau. The goalkeeper had charged off his line in a bid to deal with Jon Aramburu’s long clearance but Rondon arrived first.

The former Newcastle and Everton striker took a touch before spotting Crepeau in no man’s land and lobbing a 40-yard shot that took one bounce before crashing into the roof of the net.

Canada raised the tempo in the final minutes and Alistair Johnston forced a sharp save from Romo before Ali Ahmed and Kone shot just wide of the target.

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