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Preview: Canada vs. Uruguay | SoccerPet


Canada square off against Uruguay in the 2024 Copa America third-place playoff at the Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina on Sunday.



While the Reds suffered semi-final heartache against Argentina, La Celeste were beaten in their last-four tie by Colombia.



Match preview


Canada's hopes of becoming just the second CONCACAF team after Mexico to reach the Copa America final came to an end at the semi-final stage on Tuesday as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to defending champions Argentina.


After edging past Venezuela on penalties in the quarter-finals, the Reds were condemned to the same two-goal defeat they suffered against La Albiceleste in their opening group-stage fixture just under three weeks ago, with goals either side of half time from Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi bringing the curtain down on Canada's memorable tournament debut.


Despite coming up short, head coach Jesse Marsch believes his players can hold their heads high, as their campaign went "way better than any of us could have scripted", notably progressing further than CONCACAF pair Mexico and host nation USA, as well as five-time world champions Brazil.


Marsch is "optimistic about what the future can look like" for Canada, who will endeavour to build on what has been a successful Copa America tournament ahead of co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, with the priority there to at least advance from the group stage.


Ranked 48th in the World by FIFA, Canada are now focused on securing third place at the Copa America, but they must come out on top against a Uruguay outfit against whom they suffered a 2-0 friendly defeat in their only previous meeting in September 2022.


After blitzing through the group-stage with a perfect record - scoring nine goals and conceding only one - before showing their defensive nous en route to defeating Brazil on penalties in the quarter-finals, Uruguay were beaten 1-0 by a resilient Colombia outfit who were down to 10 men for the entire second half of a fiery semi-final clash on Wednesday.


Jefferson Lerma headed Colombia into a 39th-minute lead before Crystal Palace teammate Daniel Munoz was sent off in first-half stoppage time. However, Uruguay were unable to take advantage of the extra man after the break and registered only two of their 11 shots on target, failing to score for the second successive game after drawing 0-0 with Brazil in the previous round.


The contest was then marred by unsavoury scenes at full time, with Darwin Nunez seen climbing into the stands and brawling with supporters. Uruguayan players have since claimed to be protecting their friends and families in amongst the heated altercation, while COMNEBOL have released a statement 'strongly condemning' the 'acts of violence' and a full-scale investigation has been launched.


Uruguay were hoping to go all the way and win an unprecedented 16th Copa America title this summer as well as set up a final showdown with fellow 15-time champions Argentina, but Marcelo Bielsa's side must instead prepare themselves for their 15th third-placed playoff.


La Celeste, ranked 14th in the world by FIFA, will be confident of success on Sunday as they have won nine of their previous 15 third-placed playoffs, although they have suffered defeat in three of their last four, including a 2007 loss to CONCACAF outfit Mexico.



Team News


Canada's only injury absence is Inter Milan winger Tajon Buchanan who recently underwent surgery after breaking his tibia in training.


Jacob Shaffelburg is therefore set to continue on the left flank, although Marsch may consider moving Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies up from left-back, with versatile Richie Laryea potentially taking his place.


Cyle Larin (29) and Jonathan David (27) are Canada's top-two all-time record goalscorers and are expected to continue their partnership in attack, while midfield duo Jonathan Osorio and Samuel Piette will be looking to force their way into the first XI ahead of Ismael Kone and Stephen Eustaquio.


As for Uruguay, Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo is ruled out with a muscle injury, while Rodrigo Bentancur has emerged as a doubt after coming off in tears with a leg injury in the first half against Colombia.


Guillermo Varela and Nicolas de la Cruz are both suspended and will miss Sunday's contest, while Darwin Nunez could also be facing a ban, according to multiple reports, following his involvement in the mass brawl with supporters after the defeat to Colombia.


Uruguay's all-time leading scorer Luis Suarez (68 goals) could be handed a start up front if Nunez is indeed banned, while Nahitan Nandez is available to return at right-back after serving a suspension in the semi-finals.

Canada possible starting lineup:

Crepeau; Johnston, Bombito, Miller, Davies; Laryea, Osorio, Eustaquio, Shaffelburg; David, Larin


Uruguay possible starting lineup:

Rochet; Nandez, Gimenez, Olivera, Vina; Valverde, Ugarte; Pellistri, De Arrascaeta, M. Araujo; Nunez