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Crepeau leads Quebec contingent on Team Canada's historic Copa run


In the dying moments of Canada's game against Chile in the Copa America group stage, Canada needed a tie to advance.

Chilean talisman Alexis Sanchez dribbled to the byline and floated a chip into a dangerous area in front of the Canadian net.

Fortunately for the red-and-white, no. 16 goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau tipped it to himself to keep it away from Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan, who was lurking.

Canada held on for the tie and advanced to the quarter-finals, the first time the team has advanced in an international tournament.

Crepeau made a stunning one-handed save on a volley from Peruvian Christian Cueva in the dying seconds to preserve the 1-0 win on Tuesday. It was the first win for Canada over a South American team in 24 years.

Crepeau is from Greenfield Park on Montreal's South Shore and plies his trade with the Portland Timbers in MLS.

He is one of five Canadians from Quebec making waves in Canada's historic Copa run into the knockout stage.

"He's been a wall and their MVP all rolled into one," said TSN 690 Radio host Jonathan Still, who calls games for CF Montreal.

Canada has yet to score a goal in the tournament with both teams at full strength, and it has been up to the defence and keeper to keep the South American opponents at bay.

"They haven't allowed a goal in that time because of Crepeau," said Still. "He's been immense."

Canada's goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau calls directions to teammates during the first half of a Copa America Group A soccer match against Peru in Kansas City, Kan., Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (Reed Hoffmann, The Canadian Press)

Since the opening 2-0 loss to Argentina, Crepeau has kept two clean sheets.

Along with international Canadian stars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, Quebec's contingent of players has been huge for Canada.

Stalwart Colorado Rapids defender Moise Bombito (Montreal) plays in front of Crepeau, and Samuel Piette (Repentigny), Ismael Kone (Montreal), and Mathieu Choiniere (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) all hail from the Belle Province.

Bombito and Crepeau have started all three games in the group stages, and Kone started the first two.

Bombito may have been the player at the centre of racist abuse early in the tournament after he caught Argentinian hero Lionel Messi, attempting a tackle in the 82nd minute after his pass was intercepted by Lautaro Martinez. The ball went off the Argentine substitute to Messi, who rode Bombito's attempted tackle, before bouncing back to Martinez.

Canada Soccer did not name the player who was abused, but a post on Bombito's Instagram account drew attention to the abuse.

Canada's Moïse Bombito, left, heads the ball during a Copa America Group A soccer match against Chile in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, June 29, 2024. (Phelan Ebenhack, The Associated Press)

Kone, who grew up playing soccer in Montreal's St. Laurent borough, completed a move to Marseille in Ligue 1 this week.

The midfielder left CF Montreal for Watford in the English Championship after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Canada's next game is Friday, with their opponents yet to be determined. Top Stories


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