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Canada looks to reach Copa America quarters on TSN


The stakes are simple for Canada on Saturday night in Orlando.

“This is the biggest game we’ve played since the World Cup,” Canada midfielder Stephen Eustáquio told’s Matt Scianitti.

You can catch Canada vs. Chile in Group A action at Copa America LIVE from Orlando on Saturday with coverage getting underway at 7pm et/4am pt on TSN1/4, CTV, streaming on and on the TSN App.

Coming off of its first-ever goal and win at Copa America, Canada knows that a victory against Chile will be enough to book passage into the knockout round. After a hard-fought 2-0 loss against Argentina in which both the good and bad the team is capable of was put on display, Canada claimed a 1-0 win over 10-man Peru in a feisty affair in Kansas City, Kansas that saw an official pass out in the extreme heat. A chippy game filled with extra-curriculars, Canada was stunned when Peru weren’t reduced to 10 men in the 40th when defender Marcos Lopez head-butted Alistair Johnston. Despite a VAR check, no discipline at all was meted out for the obvious foul on the Celtic right-back.

Peru wouldn’t be so lucky in the 55th when defender Miguel Araujo came in hard with a high challenge on second-half substitute Jacob Shaffelburg that led to pushing and shoving between the two teams. While the referee initially showed a yellow to the Portland Timbers player, a red was issued following a pitchside review, reducing Los Incas to 10 men. Canada was able to take advantage.

In the 74th, Cyle Larin started a move forward with a fine pass for Shaffelburg on the right. The Nashville winger spotted the run of Jonathan David on the other side and sent a perfectly weighted ball across the pitch. The Lille hitman streaked into the area and hammered home past Pedro Gallese to make it 1-0 and earn Canada the three points. It was David’s 27th goal in his 50th appearance.

“I knew it was a goal because that’s Jonny,” Eustáquio said of David’s marker. “Jonny in a 1v1 situation – 36 degrees, but he’s a cold man. He did well.”

While the three points put Canada in the driver’s seat to reach the knockouts, Eustáquio says that the team can’t get too far ahead of themselves.

“I think this was one of our worst performances in the past couple of games, but it was the performance that made us win three points,” the Porto midfielder said after the win. “Sometimes we talk about playing good and not winning and not scoring. I think today we didn’t have our best performance and we won. So in these conditions where it was 37 degrees, very hot and they didn’t wet the pitch before the get and they didn’t wet the pitch at halftime, it was too bumpy. We made a lot of mistakes and we had a taste of what Copa America was. These South American teams, they’re very intense, they’re very strong.”

Canada can expect that type of game against Chile. After a scoreless draw with Peru to open the tournament, Chile fell 1-0 to Argentina on Matchday 2 on a Lautaro Martinez goal two minutes from time. Ricardo Gareca’s squad will now be playing for their lives, needing to win, but they will be doing it without their manager. Gareca received a one-game touchline ban from CONMEBOL on Friday for failing to get his team to take the pitch in a timely fashion and forcing a delay of game.

Champions in 2015 and 2016, La Roja have failed to get out of the group stage only once in the past 35 years. They will need a special effort against Canada to once again reach the quarters. Desperate for goals, Chile could hand a start to England-born Villarreal striker Ben Brereton Diaz, who spent last season on loan at Sheffield United where he notched six Premier League goals in 14 appearances.

Of interest from Canada manager Jesse Marsch will be what he does with his starting XI after two matches. Heading into the game against Peru, Marsch made one change from the Argentina lineup with Toronto FC left-back Richie Laryea coming in for Inter winger Tajon Buchanan. That allowed captain Alphonso Davies to move up into a more attacking role. While Shaffelburg has impressed greatly coming off of the bench in both matches, it remains to be seen whether not Marsch likes him in the super sub role or would prefer to get him on the pitch immediately and hand him a start.

Though a win is the only way for Canada to keep its fate in its own hands, Canada can still qualify for the quarters with a draw, provided that Argentina doesn’t lose to Peru. A loss will condemn Canada to an early Copa exit.

POTENTIAL CANADA XI (4-4-2): Maxime Crepeau; Alistair Johnston, Moise Bombito, Derek Cornelius, Richie Laryea; Liam Millar, Ismaël Koné, Stephen Eustáquio, Alphonso Davies; Jonathan David, Cyle Larin

POTENTIAL CHILE XI (4-2-3-1): Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Igor Lichnovsky, Paulo Diaz, Gabriel Suazo; Erick Pulgar, Rodrigo Echeverria; Dario Osorio, Alexis Sanchez, Victor Davila; Ben Brereton Diaz