Skip to main content


Motivated Canada ready to face Venezuela in Copa America quarter-final on TSN


In their first appearance at Copa America, Canada has progressed into the knockout stage of the tournament. Now they’ll look for even more as they face Venezuela in the quarter-finals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Catch the quarter-final matchup between Canada and Venezuela LIVE on Friday, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. on TSN1/4, CTV2, TSN+, and the TSN App.

After opening the competition with a hard-fought 2-0 loss at the hands of Lionel Messi and defending Copa and World Champions Argentina, Canada righted the ship to earn a 1-0 victory over Peru and a scoreless draw against two-time Copa America winner Chile to finish second in Group A and book their spot in Friday’s match.

Canada collected their four points in two very physical matches where both Chile and Peru had players sent off and were forced to play with 10 men.

Prior to participating in Copa, Canada faced France and Netherlands in pre-tournament friendlies. Canadian forward Cyle Larin says that there is a contrast in styles between the teams they played before and during the competition.

“It’s very different than when we played the European teams, it’s more physical, more chippy,” said Larin. “The mental part is being 100 per cent focused all the time because you’re playing against quality players, but aggressive players and I think we took that to the next level, and we were able to suffer through moments and come out of it and progress.”

Canadian head coach Jesse Marsch echoed his forward’s thoughts on their opponents thus far at Copa America, but believes those games have prepared them for what they will face in Arlington.

“Chile and Peru are very similar to Venezuela, there are differences in the way they play and their player pool, but in general the style of being combative and being very hard to play against and trying to keep clean sheets and doing whatever it takes to gain an edge, Venezuela has all of that and maybe even more,” said Marsch. “They’re in a very good way, they’re doing well in qualifying for the World Cup, they’ve obviously done very well in this tournament, so we know we’re in for a really big challenge, but we’re super excited.”

One player who will be missing for Canada as they attempt to meet that challenge will be midfielder Tajon Buchanan, who suffered a broken tibia during training on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old underwent surgery to repair the injury on Wednesday.

Canada's Liam Millar says the team will miss the talented midfielder, but will be fuelled to put on a strong performance in his absence.

“I think it was really tough for everybody,” said Millar. “I think everybody here knows how big of a role and how big of a person Tajon is to this team.

“I think for all of us, when we think about what happened to Tajon and what we want to do for Tajon, I think it just gives us that extra five or 10 per cent on the field. That means maybe we can push ourselves a little bit further in that moment and to make sure we know we’re doing it for our teammate, our brother, who unfortunately had a horrific injury.”

Buchanan has made 41 career appearances with the national team, including appearing in all three of Canada’s group games, making one start, during the Copa America.

“We have extra motivation, and this will be for him, to keep going in the tournament, making it to the next stage,” said Larin. “It’s very important for the team and for us to do it for him, because I know how bad he wants to be on the pitch and how much he gives to the team.”

Canada progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament with only one goal scored, Jonathan David’s 74th-minute marker in their victory over Peru.

Larin, who is Canada’s men’s all-time leader goal scorer with 29 markers, believes that if they keep playing the way they are, the goals will arrive.

“The chances are there, and I think if they weren’t there it would be a problem, but the chances are there and we’re in positions and we’re getting to those places where we can create chances,” said Larin. “When the timing clicks, the goals are going to come, a lot of goals are going to come and that’s the most important thing. We’re getting the chances; we’re getting into the positions, and you never know when it will come, and it will come in multiples.”

Perhaps the biggest reason they were able to collect four points with a single goal has been the play of starting goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau who has already created a highlight reel of big saves, including stopping Argentina’s Angel Di Maria on a breakaway and turning away chances from Peru’s Christian Cueva and Paolo Guerrero in injury time to preserve Canada’s lone victory.

Venezuela, for their part, has had little trouble finding the net. They scored six times to dispatch Ecuador, Mexico and Jamaica to advance undefeated out of Group B.

Salomón Rondón and Eduard Bello led the South American side with two goals each during the round robin portion of the tournament.

La Vinotinto are trying to make it to the semifinals of Copa America for only the second time in their history.

They finished fourth in 2011 after knocking off Chile in their quarter-final matchup.

Canada and Venezuela have met twice in international friendlies with both games ending in draws.

They played to a 2-2 stalemate in Maracaibo, Venezuela in June of 2007 and a 1-1 deadlock in Mérida, Venezuela in May of 2010.

The winner of this match will face Argentina in the semifinals on Tuesday at MetLife Stadium.