FT - Let the takes flow, this one is gonna sting for a while.
77’ GOAL HAITI Heads are well and truly gone. More poor defending, not to mention a moment of pure class from Haiti and Canada are in big trouble now. Canada really struggling to find anything here, need someone to calm things down and take over.
70’ GOAL HAITI Canada has well and truly blown this now. A horrible challenge from Marcus Godinho is the box leads to a Haitian penalty that they convert. We really find out what this Canada team is made of now.
50’ - GOAL HAITI Well, that’s really troubling from Canada. Really not good on the back pass, and Borjan misreads it and that’s a really avoidable goal for Canada to concede. All of the sudden Haiti have a lot of momentum.
Half-time: A few dicey moments for Canada but in the end a very good half from the Canadians. Haiti have looked dangerous but Doneil Henry especially has been brilliant in dealing with their threats. Limiting the turnovers will be key in the second half. In the attack, however, Canada have been lethal as ever and that has been the clear difference so far. Some moments of absolute quality in that half.
29- GOAL CANADA! Whatever Jonathan David can do, Cavallini can do as well. Brilliant from Scott Arfield in the midfield to play Cavallini through and he rounds the keeper before slotting home his fifth of the tournament.
26- It’s all Canada after the goal. Alphonso Davies hits the crossbar on a brilliant free kick that would have been goal of the tournament. Canada just need to make sure not to get caught in transition.
19’ - GOAL CANADA! Jonathan David has his sixth goal of the tournament. No you didn’t read that wrong. Incredible class from David off a quick free kick from Davies after David had won the foul. These two are really gelling at this tournament and it could be massive for Canada.
12’ - All Haiti through the first few minutes. Their high press is really causing Canada to struggle here. Canada just need to calm down a bit and be more careful in possession. Concerning start but no real chances for Haiti just yet.
Canada: Borjan; Davies, Cornelius, Henry, Godinho; Hutchinson, Arfield, Osorio; Hoilett, Cavallini, David
With an injury to Mark-Anthony Kaye, Alphonso Davies is back at the left back position. The good news in this regard is that it means Canada can keep all of its attacking talent on the field at once. Atiba Hutchinson also draws back into the lineup after Samuel Piette started in his spot against Cuba so the veteran midfielder could rest. This is arguably Canada’s best 11, let’s see if they play like it.
A lot of paper has already gone to waste as a result of today’s Gold Cup quarterfinal. A number of TV pundits here in Canada have already jokingly talked about throwing out their show notes, and you can expect John Herdman did a fair amount of recycling as well.
Canada was always a very good bet to get to this stage of the tournament. However, everyone was preparing for that to mean a matchup with Costa Rica. Instead, it is Haiti who step onto the field at NRG Stadium tonight to take on Canada.
Instantly, the perception of this game changes. Even though the Costa Rican team appears to have been overrated going into this tournament, they still carry heavyweight status in Concacaf. Against Haiti, however, Canada become the favourites.
This isn’t to say Haiti aren’t going to be an incredibly tough test for Canada, in fact very tricky in different ways. Against Martinique, a side not nearly as solid as Haiti, and of course Mexico Canada showed a vulnerability to counter attacks.
Their pace and energy down the wings is exactly how Haiti exposed an aging Costa Rica side in their final group match, and how they will be looking to similarly strike at Canada. It will be interesting, in that regard, to see who Herdman trusts at the two fullback positions.
Like Canada, Haiti boasts a lot of youthful attacking options, including 25-year-old Duckens Nazon who plays for St. Mirren in the Scottish Premier League, 22-year-old Derrick Etienne of the New York Red Bulls and 24-year-old Frantzdy Pierrot who plays in the Belgian league.
Haiti are clearly a nation on the rise in Concacaf. This Gold Cup aside, they also finished first in Concacaf Nations League qualifying (one more goal scored than Canada) and recently qualified for the 2019 U-17 World Cup alongside Canada.
In that sense this will be a battle of two teams looking for a reasonably monumental win for their respective programs. For Canada a win would mean their first semi-final appearance at the tournament since 2007. For Haiti, it would be their first semi-final of the Gold Cup era. They did, however, win the Concacaf Championship back in 1973 at home.
So whether this was the opponent Canada was anticipating or not, tonight will mark a tough battle for the national team. It is yet another chance for the team to show that they are taking a step out of Concacaf’s middle class, and towards the penthouse.
Match date/time: Saturday, June 29, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV channel: TSN4, FS1
Live stream: TSN GO