HOUSTON, United States, CMC – Haiti came from two goals down to stage a spectacular 3-2 comeback win over Canada and advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time on Saturday, June 29.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime and with the match firmly in Canada’s favour, the Haitians produced a performance for the ages to stun their higher-ranked opponents and book a place in the final four.
They will place Mexico on Tuesday (July 2) night.
Haiti’s coach Marc Collat praised his troops for their tremendous effort after the game. “The players all have certain qualities and they know that as long as the match is going on, before the final whistle they have to fight on the field, not only for themselves but also the team.
“We just looked at the fact that we had goals that could have been avoided and, despite the fact that Canada was dominating, we had opportunities we had created. If during the second half we were more serious, we could be more difficult for them and I think that’s what happened and we came back and that’s when Canada started to doubt,” Collat said.
Canada was the more aggressive from kickoff and after 18 minutes they found themselves in front through a set-piece when Alphonso Davies quickly passed a free kick to Jonathan David, who gained momentum down the right wing before firing a powerful shot past Haiti’s custodian Johnny Placide.
Lucas Cavallini then doubled the lead ten minutes later by splitting the defense, rounding Placide and easily slotting home into an empty net. But five minutes into the second half Haiti’s miraculous comeback began, courtesy of a defensive lapse by Canada.
Defender Marcus Godinho’s lazy back pass to his goalkeeper Milan Borjan was quickly pounced upon by Haitian forward Duckens Nazon who comfortably placed the ball in the back of the net.
In the 70th minute, the game was on level terms after Godhino brought down Herve Bazile inside the penalty box. Bazile stepped up to convert the penalty kick, his thunderous shot to the keeper’s right, sending him the wrong way.
Wilde-Donald Guerrier then scored the historic winner for Haiti, showing excellent skill and composure to round the goalie in the 76th minute and finish with the utmost of ease. It looked as if Atiba Hutchison had scored an 84th-minute set-piece goal to give Canada new life, but he was ruled offside on the play.