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ARLINGTON, Texas: Canada reached the semifinals of the Copa America on Friday after beating Venezuela 4-3 on penalties after a 90-minute game that ended 1-1.

Jacob Schaffelburg fired Canada ahead in the 13th minute, but Salomon Rondon equalized in the 64th, before Canada triumphed in the shootout to set up a final showdown with world champions Argentina.

The Canadians, under the leadership of American coach Jesse Marsh, who took over the team only in mid-May, are playing in the Copa America for the first time and showed relentless pressing in a feverish game.

Both teams failed to score from the spot twice in the shootout, leaving the score tied at 3-3 after five penalties each and sending the contest into sudden death.

Canadian goalkeeper Max Crepeau, who made a big mistake to equalize Venezuela, redeemed himself by saving Wilker Angelo’s shot.

That left Ismael Kone with a chance to win. He converted an ice-cold penalty to start the celebrations in front of a crowd of 51,080 fans who were mostly backing Venezuela.

Canada played Argentina in the first game of the group stage, losing to the defending champions 2-0, and will once again start as big underdogs in the semifinals.

But after a performance of remarkable energy and determination against a Venezuelan side who won all three of their group stage games, Marsh will believe his side can pull off another upset and reach the final in Miami on July 14.

Canada came out of the blocks, giving Venezuela no time on the ball and went ahead in numbers in the early stages.

Vinotint keeper Rafael Romo had to run out of his area to stop Cyle Larin as he raced to the ball over the top, but there was nothing he could do minutes later as the Canadiens took the lead.

Jonathan David crossed from the right and winger Schaffelburg arrived just in time to slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Schaffelburg, a speedy lefty who plays in Major League Soccer for Nashville, then forced Romo into a rebound and then delivered a low cross that David couldn’t finish.

Canada went for the goal and Richie Larrieux put the ball across the front of the box, but the outstretched David couldn’t reach it.

Larin missed a great chance right after the break when he found the ball in the box, but leaned over and fired well over the goal.

Marsh’s high-energy tactics began to take their toll on his players and as they tired Venezuela the game grew.

Jose Martinez should have done better when a poor clearance fell to his feet in the box, but he put his shot wide.

But then a long ball forward was won by Rondon, who spotted Crepeau far off his line and from 35 yards the veteran striker produced a perfect lob to beat the stranded keeper to make it 1-1.

There were late chances for Canada to win the game in regulation time, but neither Liam Millar nor Tani Oluwaseii, both subs, could provide a calm finish.

With no extra time in the Copa America, it was straight to penalties, and after Rondon and David converted, Yanchel Herrera hit the post for Venezuela.

Millar then put his effort over the bar and after Tomas Rincón scored for Venezuela, Moise Bombito equalized for Canada.

But Jefferson Savarino hit the post and Canada’s Stephen Eustacchio saw his soft shot saved by Romo before both teams tied the score at 3-3.

Then, in sudden death, Crepeau pounced to deny that Angel left Kone with a pressure shot for the win which he handled with aplomb.

“Everybody needs to understand the respect this country deserves and these football players deserve,” Crepeau told Fox Sports.

“Everybody says ‘these Canadians’, so these Canadians are in the semi-finals of the Copa America.”

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