Canadians pick a point against Chileans to make Copa America history

Canadians pick a point against Chileans to make Copa America history

Eric Munene 08:21 - 30.06.2024

Canada drew against Chile to progress to the quarter-final at Copa America.

In a historic and hard-fought encounter at the Inter&Co Stadium in Orlando, Canada clinched their spot in the Copa America quarter-final with a gritty goalless draw against 10-man Chile, marking their maiden appearance in the tournament with a groundbreaking achievement.

The result not only secured Canada's passage to the knockout stages but also etched their name in the annals of Copa América history as the first debutants in over two decades to progress beyond the group phase.

Chile, the formidable winners of the 2015 and 2016 editions, entered the match needing victory to keep their tournament hopes alive.

They started aggressively, with Victor Dávila threatening early on, narrowly missing the target twice in quick succession.

However, their ambitions suffered a severe setback in the 27th minute when Gabriel Suazo, already on a yellow card, was sent off for a foul on Richie Laryea, reducing Chile to ten men.

Buoyed by their numerical advantage, Canada pressed forward, seeking to capitalise as they had against Peru earlier in the tournament.

Alphonso Davies initiated a promising move with a precise through ball to Jonathan David, whose delicate chip narrowly missed the mark.

Gabriel Arias, standing in for the injured Claudio Bravo, kept Chile in contention with a courageous save from Stephen Eustáquio just before halftime.

The dynamics of the match shifted further in Canada's favor following Argentina's early second-half goal against Peru, granting them the cushion of knowing a draw would suffice.

Despite Chile's efforts to find a breakthrough, including Igor Lichnovsky's close-range header denied by Maxime Crépeau, Canada defended resolutely.

The second half unfolded as a tense midfield battle with few clear-cut chances. Canada's Liam Millar received a booking shortly after entering the fray, indicative of the match's physical intensity.

Chile pressed on with urgency, nearly surprising Crépeau with a deflected effort from Alexis Sánchez and testing substitute Tajon Buchanan's attempt late in the game, saved by Arias.

As the final whistle blew, Canada celebrated their historic achievement, advancing to a likely quarter-final clash against Venezuela and setting the stage for jubilant festivities ahead of Canada Day.

Conversely, Chile faced a sobering evaluation of their campaign, exiting the tournament at the group stage for the first time in nearly two decades, prompting introspection into their disappointing performance.

Canada's journey in the Copa América continues to captivate, underscoring their emergence as a rising force in international football.