Raul Jimenez converted the penalty in the first half of extra time as El Tri finally broke through a stubborn Haitian defense led by several wonderful saves from Johny Placide in net.
The penalty was rightly awarded when Herve Bazile tried to play a shoulder height 50/50 ball against Jimenez right at the beginning of the additional frame. Bazile however caught Jimenez’s foot and referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim of Qatar pointed to the spot. VAR likely would have upheld this decision but CONCACAF opted to not use the system at the Gold Cup. Jimenez dispatched the penalty moments later to provide the only goal of the match.
Despite several major statistical advantages including a 70-30% edge in possession, passing the ball over twice as often as Haiti and taking 27 total shots, Mexico struggled mightily to put pressure on Haiti and when they did, Placide was excellent.
Placide was the man of the match, beginning in the first half when he held on to a good header from Jimenez in the 35th. Later, he tipped an excellent free kick from Andres Guardado over the bar in the 67th and then kept the match at 1-0 in the 115th with a close range save on Rodolfo Pizzaro.
While Mexico struggled to put shots on target, Les Grenadiers tried their best to hit back when they could. Haiti’s best chance game at the death, when Mikael Cantave’s shot from the top of the box struck the crossbar in the 119th, the soccer gods cruelly denying a deserved equalizer. Frantzdy Pierrot also had a nifty turn inside the box in the 48th but his shot flew over the top corner.
New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux subbed on in extra time as Haiti scrambled for an equalizer to no avail. The MLS homegrown started two group stage games and made three substitute appearances for Haiti in the tournament. Haiti begins their Nations League campaign this fall in the A Flight with Curacao and Costa Rica.
Mexico moves on to face the winner of the second semifinal between the United States and Jamaica later today (930 PM EST, Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN). The 2019 Gold Cup Final is this Sunday, July 7 from Soldier Field in Chicago. Mexico is 7-1 in the Gold Cup Final all-time, their only loss in 2007 to the United States on Benny Feilhaber’s wonder strike in the second half.