Pittsburgh Penguins and Canada forward Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins and Canada forward Sidney Crosby


Pittsburgh Penguins and Canada forward Sidney Crosby

The Canadian national soccer team might only be an invited nation to the 2024 Copa America but that doesn’t mean Pittsburgh Penguins and Canada Hockey legend Sidney Crosby won’t celebrate their victories.

Canada advanced to the semifinals of the tournament on Friday, July 5, beating Venezuela 4-3 in the penalty shootout after drawing 1-1 in regular time. Crosby made the most of the moment and dropped by Team Canada’s locker room to celebrate with the lads.

“Canada who’s proud??? Look who dropped by to congratulate the team! Argentina here we come!!” President of Canada Soccer Peter Augruso posted on X after the game.

Crosby, a two-time Olympic gold medalist with the Canadian hockey team in 2010 and 2014, attended the game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and spoke to The Athletic’s Josh Kloke afterward.

“It was a roller coaster,” Crosby told Kloke. “I feel like there’s been a lot more eyeballs, a lot more attention on this team.”

Crosby took pictures with many of the Team Canada superstars, including Derek Cornelius, Jonathan David, and Ali Ahmed, as well as the whole team.

Team photos with Crosby via Canada Soccer

Ali Ahmed x Sidney Crosby

The victory over Venezuela earned Canada a place in the semi-finals of the competition and a meeting with reigning champions Argentina on Tuesday, July 9.

Meanwhile, the United States Men’s National Team crashed out of the competition in the group stage. The USMNT failed to qualify for the quarter-finals, but Team Canada filled that void smoothly and will try to send Argentina home in a few days.

The other two semi-finalists will come out of the matches featuring Brazil against Uruguay and Colombia against Panama scheduled for July 6.

Canada Beats Venezuela, Advances to 2024 Copa America Semi-Finals

Nations such as Canada and Venezuela are often relegated to a secondary plane while the likes of Argentina and Brazil are still competing.

Judging exclusively by what went down on the pitch of AT&T Stadium on Friday, however, one would have thought the opposite was the right thing to do.

In the end, Jesse Marsch’s men advanced to the semi-finals beating the Vinotinto in from the penalty spot after the game ended on a 1-1 draw. Jacob Shaffelburg scored for Canada but veteran forward Salomon Rondon tied the game for Venezuela in the 64th minute, ultimately sending the affair to the shootout.

Once there, it took Canada six rounds–one over the usual five-penalty takings–to beat the South American nation and advance to the next round, courtesy of Ismael Kone’s goal from the spot.

Venezuela and Canada seemed to have pre-arranged how they’ll do through the penalty kicks given how they mimicked each other in an eerily similar way.

Each team scored the first penalty take. Then, they both failed to score in the second round. After that, the third penalty-kicker for the two squads scored. The fourth missed, and the fifth made theirs.

Entering the sixth round, Wilker Angel missed his shot while Kone scored to send Canada to the semis.

Why There Was No Extra Time in the Quarter-Finals?

Did it surprise you that Friday’s game went to penalties straight after regulation? You probably last watched Euro 2024 or the 2022 World Cup.

In Copa America, however, that’s what the rulebook stipulates.

The tournament rules allow only the final game to go to extra time (two 15-minute halves played after regulation).

Before that, all games played in the quarterfinals and the semifinals (and the third-place game) go straight from regulation to penalty kicks, as explained by the ruling body CONMEBOL.

“Article 26 – In the knockout phase, if there is a tie at the end of regular time in the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, or the Third-Place match, the winner will be determined by a penalty shootout in accordance with the rules stipulated by IFAB/FIFA.”

As the organization explains, the final scheduled for July 14 will develop under a different set of rules, including a potential extra time.

“Article 27 – Specifically for the final match, if there is a tie at the end of regular time, an extra time consisting of two 15-minute halves will be played. If the tie persists at the end of extra time, a penalty shootout will be held in accordance with the rules stipulated by IFAB/FIFA to determine the winner.”

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for Heavy.com. A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada

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