Marsch: Canada ‘not satisfied’ yet after making Copa America QF

ORLANDO — Canada coach Jesse Marsch said he and his team are “not satisfied” yet after qualifying for the Copa América quarterfinals for the first time, on their tournament debut.

Canada drew 0-0 with Chile at Inter&Co Stadium on Saturday to finish second in Group A on four points, behind world champions Argentina.

They’ll face the winners of Group B — with Venezuela currently leading the group — in the last eight on July 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“We are not satisfied. The group is not satisfied. They want to keep going,” Marsch said in his post-match news conference. “They know, no matter who our next opponent is, it will be a difficult match. But they believe in themselves. We’re excited for this next challenge.”

Chile defender Gabriel Suazo was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the 27th minute to give Canada a man advantage, but the game remained tight, with Canada substitute Tani Oluwaseyi having a goal disallowed for offside in added time.

“I’m challenging them to grow and get better, to be more savvy professionals, more mature players,” Marsch said. “I’ve been incredibly impressed by them, from the first training session. I’m enjoying being their coach. I’m proud of this accomplishment. But again, we’re not satisfied.”

Canada were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in the tournament’s opening game in Atlanta on June 20, before beating Peru 1-0 five days later.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Chile was enough to progress to the quarterfinals, after Argentina beat Peru 2-0 in the night’s other game.

“I thought we would get out of the group, I really did,” Marsch said. “I knew it would be a big challenge. Mostly, I was trying to prepare the team for the savviness and intelligence of what South American teams are.

“We’ve had to grow up, and understand what South American edge and power and competitive will is like … We’ve grown. Not just from a football perspective, but a maturity perspective.”

Marsch only took charge of Canada in May, having been out of management since leaving Leeds in February 2023.

“When I took the job, I knew the group,” Marsch said on Saturday. “I knew the task at hand was going to be difficult. But we’ve played five matches, and had clean sheets in eight of the 10 halves.

“There was a lot of talk about defensive frailties, and no-one was sure how the team would be able to defend. But the entire team has been tactically very organised, disciplined. We’ve looked athletic and strong in every match.”

“We need a little bit more of an edge,” Marsch added. “I need them to be mad at me sometimes when they don’t play, I need them to be a bit angry with the coach on certain decisions, but we’ll get there. This is part of the maturation, the demand and expectation we have for each other, what this is really going to require.”

Chile — who won the Copa América in 2015 and 2016 — failed to score in their three games at the tournament.

“This team can score goals,” assistant coach Sergio Santin insisted in his post-match news conference, with coach Ricardo Gareca serving a one-match ban after his team returned to the field late for the second half of their game with Argentina.

“We believe that these forwards will score goals. In the Copa América, the [lack of] goals, I have to accept that. But I believe, and we believe, in the forwards we have.”

Chile were unhappy with the referee’s failure to punish Canada defender Moïse Bombito for appearing to strike Rodrigo Echeverria in the face with his elbow early in the game.

“It’s incredible that with the technology that exists today in football, they can mess up in this way,” goalkeeper Claudio Bravo — who missed the game through injury — said on X, sharing TV footage of the incident. “It’s hard to understand it, it’s impossible to compete against this. We leave with our heads held high, we gave everything.”