PHOENIX, Arizona, CMC – A controversial extra-time penalty goal was all it took to shatter Haiti’s dreams of advancing to the next round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as they were defeated 1-0 by Mexico in the first semi-final match on July 2.
Regular time at State Farm Stadium ended with the scores still locked at nil-all but the game changed in the third minute of the first period of extra time when Herve Bazile was adjudged to have fouled Raul Jimenez with a high boot in the area.
Haiti’s Herve Bazile made contact with a full-fledged kick to Jimenez’s foot. On replay, the contact looked soft causing Haitian and American fans to yell with rage from the stans. Haitian players, too, questioned whether it was a penalty or not.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward then calmly finished low to the right of goalkeeper Jhony Placide to put Mexico ahead for good in the contest.
Minutes later, Jimenez almost doubled his side’s advantage when he curled his drive just over the crossbar from 17 yards out and with the pressure intensifying on the Haitian goal, Placide was forced into a one-handed save at point-blank range to deny Rodolfo Pizarro.
In the dying moments, Haiti almost snatched the equaliser but substitute Mikael Cantave smashed his curling long-range volley onto the uprights with goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa beaten.
Mexico had earlier had the lion share of chances in regular time, Jimenez firing over from six yards out in the 12th minute and Carlos Salcedo blasting wide in the 56th minute.
Captain Andres Guardado then forced Placide into an acrobatic save in the 66th minute with a superb free-kick, as Mexico continued to dominate.
Mexico, 10-time Gold Cup champions, will meet the winners of Wednesday’s semi-final between Jamaica and six-time champions United States, in Sunday’s final in at Soldier Field in Chicago.