Thursday, July 25, 2024

Marsch praises Canada´s desire and commitment after booking Copa America semi-final spot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Jul 2024

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Jesse Marsch has praised Canada for their “willingness” during a “fast learning curve” after they booked a place in the Copa America semi-final.

Les Rouges earned a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Venezuela after Salomon Rondon had cancelled out Jacob Shaffelburg’s opener as the match finished 1-1 in normal time.

Maxime Crepeau then saved two penalties before it went to sudden death, and Ismael Kone scored the decisive spot-kick to send them into the next round.

After a poor string of results at the start of Marsch’s tenure, Canada were tipped to make an early exit during their maiden Copa America.

However, they have defied the odds, and the American credited the spirit of his squad for pushing them forward.

“All the things that I know about them now, I sensed back then; their commitment, their desire, their willingness to learn,” Marsch said.

“All of that has led to bigger belief and self-confidence.

“It’s a very athletic team. It’s a very fast team. I’ve tried to build in the right kind of aggression for them to go after opponents, to go after big games and to believe in how we’re building this.

“Their commitment to try to learn, their belief in what I’m doing with them is very, very high. They’re capable because they’re athletic, because they’re strong, because they’re young.

“We’ve seen an incredibly fast learning curve, but it’s because they’re excited about playing this way, and they’re excited about what we’re trying to achieve together.”

Captain Alphonso Davies was one of the players who stepped up during the shoot-out as he picked out the top corner with the penultimate penalty, knowing a miss would have sent them home.

After seeing a tame penalty saved in a defeat against Belgium in the 2022 World Cup, Davies was pleased to replace that memory with something more positive.

“Obviously, I had flashbacks to the World Cup, but I did not let that get to me. I knew where I wanted to go before I walked up to the ball,” Davies told Canadian broadcaster TSN.

“It’s going to take everything. We played them in the group stage. We played well but didn’t get the win we wanted.”

Canada will face Argentina in the semi-final at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday, having lost their tournament opener to the Albiceleste 2-0.

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