Gold Cup heartbreak: Canada eliminated on kicks from the penalty mark


A valiant Canadian performance ended in heartbreak after they were eliminated on kicks from the penalty by their rivals USA in the Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinals. In an epic knockout match at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, both sides held the lead at different points, but the score was 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 after 120 minutes before USA won 3-2 on kicks to advance to the Semifinals.

Brandon Vazquez scored the late opener in the 88th minute but Steven Vitória equalised from the penalty spot in the 93rd minute to send the match into extra time. Jacob Shaffelburg then scored the 2-1 goal in the 109th minute, but an own goal leveled the score in the 114th minute. USA goalkeeper Matt Turner stopped Canada’s first two kickers to help eliminate Canada from the competition.

“It’s bitter sweet, the guys are gutted in the dressing room,” said John Herdman, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “There were bright spots from this Gold Cup and we were able to test our 2026 talent pool. There were some big performances from new players combined with the veterans who helped carry and develop a team through the last couple of weeks. I’m proud of the guys tonight.”

Canada Soccer Match Centre

Officially, Canada finished the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup undefeated with a win and three draws from the group phase and Quarterfinals. It marked the first time in program history that Canada reached the knockout phase in four successive Gold Cups. For young Shaffelburg, his first career international goal was also Canada’s first in extra time since Richard Hastings’ memorable Quarterfinals match winner in 2000.

Unfortunately, it also marked the second time that Canada have been eliminated on kicks by USA at the Concacaf Gold Cup. The two sides were 0-0 after 120 minutes in the 2002 Semifinals before USA won that battle 4-2 on kicks.

Canada’s player of the match was goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who made excellent saves in the 68th minute against Gianluca Busio and 104th minute against Matt Miazga.

Across the tournament, Canada scored eight goals in four matches with a 2-2 draw against Guadeloupe, a 0-0 draw against Guatemala, a 4-2 win over Cuba, and the 2-2 draw against USA. Both Shaffelburg and Liam Millar scored their first international goals while Ali Ahmed, Moïse Bombito, Victor Loturi, Zac McGraw, Jacen Russell-Rowe and Dominick Zator all made their international debuts.

CAN 2: 2 USA / USA 3-2 kicks
TQL Stadium
Marco Ortiz (Christian Espinosa/Caleb Wales, Jorge Sanchez, Oshane Nation)

Goals / Buts
USA 88’ Brandon Vazquez (head / tête) 0-1 (a. Dejuan Jones)
CAN 90’+3 Steven Vitória (PK right foot / pied droit) 1-1
CAN 109’ Jacob Shaffelburg (left foot / pied gauche) 2-1 (a. Jacen Russell-Rowe)
USA 114’ CAN own goal 2-2

Kicks / tirs
CAN Vitória shot saved by Turner & USA Vazquez attempt misses; CAN Fraser shot saved by Turner & USA Cowell 1-0; CAN Miller 1-1 & USA Busio 2-1; CAN Russell-Rowe 2-2 & USA Ferreira 3-2; CAN Brym hits the crossbar, USA advances to the Concacaf Semifinals.

CANADA – 1 GK Dayne St. Clair; 15 Zac McGraw (23 Scott Kennedy 91’), Steven Vitória, 4 Kamal Miller, 22 Richie Laryea, 11 Liam Millar (17 Jacob Shaffelburg 86’), 14 Moïse Bombito (3 Liam Fraser), 20 Ali Ahmed (8 David Wotherspoon 73’), 21 Jonathan Osorio, 9 Lucas Cavallini (17 Jacen Russell-Rowe 73’), 10 Junior Hoilett capt. (19 Charles-Andreas Brym 86’). Coach / entraîneur John Herdman. Unused substitutes / substituts non utilisés: 16 GK Tom McGill; 2 Zachary Brault-Guillard, 7 Jayden Nelson, 12 Victor Loturi, 6 Dominick Zator.

Gatorade Performance of the Match / Performance du match Gatorade :
Dayne St. Clair