CONCACAF Gold Cup: Haiti stuns Canada, Mexico ekes by C.R.
Haiti rallied miraculously from a two-goal halftime deficit to shock Canada with a 3-2 victory in Houston on Saturday, advancing to the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal for the first time in its history.
Wilde-Donald Guerrier’s acrobatic 76th-minute tally put Haiti ahead for good. Receiving a curling through ball from Duckens Nazon on the right side about 10 yards from goal, Guerrier took two juggling touches to move past diving Canadian keeper Milan Borjan and directed the ball into the gaping net.
The rally was made possible by Canadian defender Marcus Godinho, whose weak back-pass was tackled away from Borjan by Nazon and tapped into the empty net in the 50th minute to make it 2-1. Seventeen minutes later, Godinho attempted a sliding clearance in the box, but he missed the ball and slid through Herve Bazile’s legs. Bazile slotted the ensuing penalty kick in the left side to tie it in the 70th minute.
Canada had taken the lead in the 18th minute when Jonathan David scored his sixth goal of the tournament on a near-post blast. Lucas Cavallini doubled the advantage in the 28th minute, dribbling past Haitian keeper Johny Placide after a perfect through ball from Scott Arfield.
Haiti will face Mexico in the semifinals on July 2, in Glendale, Ariz., after El Tri squeaked by Costa Rica later Saturday night.
Mexico 1, Costa Rica 1 (Mexico advances on penalties, 5-4)
Guillermo Ochoa made two diving saves — one in extra time, and one in the sixth round of penalty kicks — to help Mexico scrape by Costa Rica in the quarterfinals after El Tri coughed up a second-half lead in Glendale.
In the 108th minute, Ochoa dove left and fought off Jonathan McDonald’s one-timer to keep the score level. Then, after Mexico’s Carlos Salcedo converted in the sixth round of penalties, Ochoa dove low and right to knock away Keysher Fuller’s strike.
Mexico had fallen behind immediately in the penalty shootout when Costa Rican keeper Leonel Moreira parried Raul Jimenez’s attempt with a dive to his right. But Cosa Rica’s Randall Leal missed the net wide left in the third round to even the score, setting the stage for Ochoa’s heroics.
Mexico opened the scoring in the 44th minute when Jimenez notched fourth goal of the tournament, slotting a shot inside the near post after his initial attempt from 9 yards out was blocked.
Los Ticos leveled it in the 52nd minute on a penalty kick buried in the left side of the net by captain Bryan Ruiz. The penalty call was controversial: While Mexico defender Luis Rodriguez clearly fouled Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell — who was in on a breakaway — the contact appeared to occur narrowly outside the penalty area.
REUTERS/Field Level Media