Canada is through to the quarterfinals of the Copa America. Was it easy? No it wasn’t. They did it by only scoring one goal in three games.

Heading into the Copa America, it would have been a great success for Canada to progress to the quarterfinals. Group A with Argentina, Chile and Peru was going to be tough. Props to the Canadians. They were up for the challenge but the challenge has levels and the next level is harder.

They lost 2-0 to Argentina but it was a game where they fought hard. Canada beat Peru 1-0 in the heat of Kansas City after a very poor start and Peru going down a man. Jonathan David scored in his 50th cap for Canada. They ended up playing up a man for most of the match against Chile on Saturday when Gabriel Suazo was sent off in the 27th minute. However, they couldn’t score.

Progression under Jesse Marsch

Jesse Marsch was hired on May 13. The former RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig and Leeds United head coach was coming into a tough situation. But while it hasn’t been all perfect, it is clear there is progression under Marsch.

Canada played a good first half against the Netherlands before falling apart in the second. They went toe to toe with France and Argentina. After a slow start, they managed a way to win against Peru. (The red card helped)They were doing a lot of good things against Chile but again couldn’t score. They’ve played 10 haves under Marsch and kept clean sheets in eight of them. That’s not bad.

Alphonso Davies isn’t doing everything himself. Alister Johnston and Derek Cornelius have been solid defensively for the most part. Marsch has also integrated Jacob Shaffelburg and Tani Olyuwasei who have been decent. Shaffelburg, in particular, has earned more starts. Of course, Maxime Crepeau has held the fort down with solid goalkeeping.

Canada has looked calm and composed under Marsch. He has done his best to adapt to the situations in games and he made sure his team doesn’t succumb to pressure.

Not satisfied

However, despite progressing through the group stage, Marsch isn’t content.

“We are not satisfied,” he said after Canada’s 0-0 draw to Chile per Alex Kirkland of ESPN. ” The group is not satisfied. They want to keep going,”

“I thought we would get out of the group, I really did,” Said Marsch. “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.”

There is a lot to be worked on for Marsch and Canada. The obvious one is the lack of goals. There is also the lack of creating chances. Canada did not get a shot on target against Chile until Stephen Eustaqio tested Gabriel Arias from distance. The best chance was Tajon Buchanan’s close shot on Arias in the 83rd minute.

Canada only had three shots on target and just two big chances against Chile. Let’s not forget they had a man advantage.

The transitions need to be cleaner and the crosses need to hit their targets. But Marsch and the players know that more needs to be done.

“We need a little bit more of an edge,” said Marsch. “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.”

Up next in the Copa America

Venezuela topped Group B so that is who Canada will face in the Copa America quarterfinals. That game will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas and kickoff is at 6 PM Pacific.