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Canada leads Venezuela after first half of Copa America quarters showdown


So far, so good for Canada as they lead Venezuela 1-0 through a fast-paced opening half Friday night in Arlington, Texas. 

The winner of Friday’s Copa America quarter-final match will play Argentina in the tournament semifinal Tuesday evening.

Jacob Shaffelburg got Canada on the board in the 13th minute, putting home a feed from Jonathan David from in tight. After the goal, Shaffelburg went over to the Canadian bench and grabbed a Tajon Buchanan jersey, and held up his injured teammate's No. 17 as part of the celebration.

Buchanan suffered a broken tibia in training on Tuesday and had surgery, returning to the team hotel Thursday to a warm reception in the lobby from his teammates. 

Canada had a number of other chances through the first 45 minutes, firing four of their seven shots on target. Venezuela had 10 total shot attempts, two of which were on target. Venezuela won the first half possession battle 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

Canada advanced out of the group stage in their debut appearance at the Copa, placing second in their group behind No. 1-ranked Argentina. Canada dropped their tournament opener to Lionei Messi and Co. but earned a 1-0 victory over Peru on June 25 and held Chile to a 0-0 draw last Saturday, finishing group play with four points.