The quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup began last night with tremendous drama from both games.
Haiti completed a stunning second half comeback, scoring three goals in a twenty-five minute span to erase a two-goal defecit while Mexico survived a penalty shootout against Costa Rica in the night cap.
Canada started the first match off extremely well, with two of the tournament’s top scorers continuing their impressive play. Jonathan David received a quick free kick from Alphonso Davies on the right wing in the 18th minute, bypassing the already set up Haiti defense in the box. David moved into the box and smashed home into Johny Placide’s top near corner to open the scoring with his tournament leading sixth goal.
Ten minutes later, it was Canada’s other top scorer Lucas Cavallini took a long ball over the top from Scott Arfield, split his defenders, and rounded Placide to double Canada’s lead just before the half hour mark.
What a comeback! What a moment!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 30, 2019
Haiti erased an 0-2 deficit at halftime to stun Canada and reach their first-ever Gold Cup semifinals. Here's how it happened ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/p7AZoiMhc0
Then things began to unravel for Canada in the second half. A poor backpass to a retreating Milan Borjan in goal allowed Duckens Nazon to pull one back a goal right after the halftime restart in the 50th minute. In the 70th minute, Canada defender Marcus Godinho sliding challenge dumped Haiti forward Herve Bazile on his back. The striker stepped up to convert his own penalty and tie the game 2-2.
The comeback would be completed in the 76th, when a perfect Nazon through ball found Wilde-Donald Guerrier at the back post. Guerrier used a clever touch to round Borjan and touch home the go-ahead goal.
New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux was a late substitute, coming on for Guerrier in the 83rd minute to help Haiti close out the match for a historic 3-2 victory and their first Gold Cup semifinal and ensure their best finish at CONCACAF’s premier event since their golden generation of the 1970s won the title in 1973 as hosts.
Haiti will move on to face Mexico in the semifinals, after El Tri survived in a six-round penalty shootout against Costa Rica 5-4, following a 1-1 AET draw.
A match that featured a combined 10 of 37 shooting (5 shots on target for each team), 46 fouls, and nine yellow cards saw all of the goal scoring happen right before and after the halftime whistle.
WHAT. A. GAME.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 30, 2019
Mexico wins on penalties thanks to a huge save by Guillermo Ochoa
Watch the full game highlights in our 90' in 90" ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/JfQP5sgmN0
Costa Rica however nearly opened the scoring on a Celso Borges freekick at the half hour mark, only to see his shot sail just over the bar.
Mexico would find the opener at right before the half, when Raul Jimenez recollected his own blocked shot, took a centering touch, and fired home at the near post past Leonel Moreira.
While El Tri took that 1-0 lead into halftime, it would be short lived. Mexico defender Lucas Rodriguez was judged to have fouled Joel Campbell inside the area as he attempted a shot at the top of the box. Replays showed Rodriguez did nick the ball with his standing challenge, but he did impede Campbell’s shooting leg before the ball - outside of the area. With no VAR, the penalty stood and was dispatched by Bryan Ruiz to tie the game.
Outside of stubstitute Carlos Rodriguez’s effort off the bar in the 83rd, the match was destined for penalties as both teams struggled to put shots on net.
In the shootout, Moreira started things off with a save on Raul Jimenez that was later cancelled out by Randall Leal’s miss on Costa Rica’s third penalty. Through five rounds, the shootout was level at four and Carlos Salcedo converted Mexico’s sixth and Memo Ochoa stepped up to save Keysher Fuller’s shot to seal the win for Mexico.
Mexico and Haiti will meet in the first semifinal on Tuesday July 2nd at 10pm from Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.