Canada Beats Venezuela, Reaches Semifinals in 1st Copa America

Jul 5, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the fans and the flag during the playing of the national anthem of Canada before the game between Venezuela and Canada in the 2024 Copa America quarterfinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the fans and the flag during the playing of the national anthem of Canada before the game between Venezuela and Canada in the 2024 Copa America quarterfinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Canada Beats Venezuela, Reaches Semifinals in 1st Copa America

Jul 5, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the fans and the flag during the playing of the national anthem of Canada before the game between Venezuela and Canada in the 2024 Copa America quarterfinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the fans and the flag during the playing of the national anthem of Canada before the game between Venezuela and Canada in the 2024 Copa America quarterfinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Canada hasn't scored much on the way to the semifinals of its first Copa America.
Don't look for apologies from American-born coach Jesse Marsch.
Ismaël Koné scored in the sixth round of the shootout right after a third save by Maxime Crépeau and Canada moved on with a victory over Venezuela on Friday night.
The Canadians won 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in the quarterfinals, keeping Venezuela from advancing to the Copa America semifinals for the first time since 2011.
Just the fourth team to advance out of group play by scoring just one goal, Canada is moving on again following a 0-0 draw against Chile that sent it to the elimination round.
“People will talk about should we score more goals or whatever,” The Associated Press quoted Marsch as saying. “We should score more goals. But those are two pretty strong performances against very good opponents. You can see that this team is building.”
Jacob Shaffelburg scored in the 13th minute for Canada before Salomón Rondón got the equalizer in the 64th minute for Venezuela.
The victory earned 48th-ranked Canada a rematch with Lionel Messi and Argentina, the world No. 1 and defending Copa America champion, on Tuesday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Argentina beat Canada 2-0 in a group play opener.
Each team scored three times in the five rounds of the shootout, forcing the extra session.
After Crépeau silenced the pro-Venezuelan crowd of 51,080 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys by stopping Jhonder Cádiz, Koné eased his shot past Rafael Romo for the win.
“I heard some of the guys saying afterward I should have had him shoot earlier because he’s got ice in his veins,” Marsch said of the 22-year-old. “They were right. Probably should have had him shoot earlier. But when we needed him, he stepped up.”
With 54th-ranked Venezuela trailing 1-0, Jon Aramburu sent a long pass from his own penalty box, leaving just Rondón and Moïse Bombito battling for the loose ball near midfield.
Just as Rondón gained possession, Crépeau realized he was too far out and sprinted toward his net. It was too late. Rondón's lofted shot over the scrambling Crépeau bounced 2 yards in front of the net and in.
Shaffelburg scored on an assist from Jonathan David after David scored Canada's previous goal in a 1-0 victory over Peru on a helper from Shaffelburg, who right-footed a pass from David between the right post and Romo.
After scoring, Schaffelburg held over his head the No. 17 jersey of Tajon Buchanan, who broke the tibia in his lower left leg in practice three days before the meeting with Venezuela.
Rondón had two early chances on headers turned away, and it wasn't long after his goal that Shaffelburg took another dangerous shot from just inside the penalty box that Romo deflected away.
Before Rondón's equalizer, Eduard Bello redirected a corner kick from across the toward the net, but the ball landed on top of the net after a leaping deflection from Crépeau.
Venezuela is in position to be a first-time qualifier for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the US, Canada and Mexico. A World Cup-high nine games will be at AT&T Stadium.
But La Vinotinto fell short in trying to reach the final four of Copa America for just the second time. Venezuela finished fourth 13 years ago.
“I think that we need to continue working and to set an objective for ourselves,” Venezuela coach Fernando Batista said through a translator. “This is a long process. We have a huge dream that we’re going for. All Venezuelans want to qualify for the World Cup, and the Copa America gave us the possibility of strengthening our squad.”
Not long after Rondón's goal, Liam Millar got a shot past Romo, but it went wide right. Millar had Canada's first miss of the shootout, sending a shot way over the crossbar right after Yangel Herrera was wide left for Venezuela.
The teams traded misses again in the fourth round of the shootout before a pair of makes set up the extra session.
“We were the better team,” Marsch said. “We deserved to win that match. The penalties, it’s most a flip of the coin. But we were the better team on the day.”



Paris Police Sealing Off Seine River Ahead of Olympics Opening Ceremony

People carry their bikes up a staircase to get around a security area closed off for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Paris. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
People carry their bikes up a staircase to get around a security area closed off for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Paris. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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Paris Police Sealing Off Seine River Ahead of Olympics Opening Ceremony

People carry their bikes up a staircase to get around a security area closed off for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Paris. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
People carry their bikes up a staircase to get around a security area closed off for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Paris. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A special kind of iron curtain came down across central Paris on Thursday, with the beginning of an Olympic anti-terrorism perimeter along the banks of the River Seine sealing off a kilometers-long area to Parisians and tourists who hadn’t applied in advance for a pass.
The words on many lips were “QR code,” the pass that grants access beyond snaking metal barriers that delineate the security zone set up to protect the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony on July 26.
“I didn’t know it started today,” said Emmanuelle Witt, a 35-year-old communications freelancer who was stopped by police near the Alma bridge while biking across town. She desperately went on her phone to fill out the online form to get her QR code, unaware that the vetting process could take several days, The Associated Press reported.
Those with the precious code – either on their phones or printed out on pieces of paper – passed smoothly past police checkpoints at gaps in the barriers taller than most people.
Those without got mostly turned away – with no amount of grumbling and cajoling making officers budge.
“That’s too much, that’s over the top, that whole thing is a pain,” grumbled Nassim Bennamou, a delivery man who was denied access to the street leading to Notre Dame Cathedral on his scooter.
“Even the GPS is confused, I have no idea how I’m going to work today,” he added.
While authorities announced the code system last year and have been meeting with local residents for months to explain the restrictions, not everyone was aware. Officers patiently explained to visitors without the pass how to reach iconic Paris monuments without going through the restricted zone.
“We had no idea we needed a QR code,” said Takao Sakamoto, 55, who was denied access to the Eiffel Tower near the Bir Hakeim Metro station. Visiting from Japan with his wife, he took a photo of the tower from a distance, behind fences and police cars. “That will do,” Sakamoto remarked with despair.
On the other hand, visitors who were lucky enough to come across officers who leniently let them pass without QR codes and others who'd equipped themselves with them were treated to the sight of near-empty riverside boulevards that, in normal times, heave with traffic.
“There's no one around!” sang a happy cyclist on a street he had largely to himself. With police seemingly everywhere, another man walking past a riverside café with fewer than usual customers loudly quipped: “You can leave your money and cell phones on the tables, there's definitely no thieves!”
“It’s surreal, it really feels like we’re the only ones here,” said Sarah Bartnicka from Canada. Enjoying a morning jog with a friend, the 29-year-old took a selfie with a police officer on the deserted Iéna bridge to capture the moment.
Paris has repeatedly suffered deadly extremist attacks, most notably in 2015. Up to 45,000 police and gendarmes as well as 10,000 soldiers are being deployed for Olympic security.
“I understand why they’re doing this,” said Carla Money, a 64-year-old American who managed to pass the barriers with her family.
Some business owners inside the security zone grumbled that sharply reduced foot-fall would hurt their bottom line.
“They’ve locked me up like a prisoner," said Raymond Pignol. His restaurant, L'Auberge Café, near the Pont Neuf that spans the Seine, is just inside the metal fencing.
The perimeter went into effect early Thursday morning and will last through the ceremony. As an exception, Paris has decided to hold the opening of its first Games in a century on the river rather than in a stadium, like previous host cities. Most of the river security measures will be lifted after the show.
Officers were under instructions to be polite and patient as employees on their way to work and others dealt with the perimeter and the passes for the first time. But Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said that after the initial 24 hours of being accommodating, officers would apply the rules much more firmly, with no more looking the other way for those without QR codes.