Friday, March 14, 2008

Haiti/Canada running blog

I'm in the pressbox and today, I'm the one who is grumpy. I left a pair of sunglasses in the press box and they're not here today. Security doesn't have them either. Oh, yeah, the game.
4 - Josh Wagenaar just had a good stop on a breakaway.
14 - Kyle Hall had only the goalkeeper to beat in the box and he put it straight at the keeper. "This is why Canada will not go to the Olympics," says Grahame. "Chip him, do something!"
18 - Or maybe they will. GOAL! Hall makes up for his earlier gaffe with a scorching run, crosses the ball in front of goal and Tyler Rosenlund nails the finish first time. "Yep, that's it," says Grahame. "Leave the shooting to someone else."
22 - Canada has now scored more goals from the run of play than either the U.S. or Mexico. Clearly, the new power in CONCACAF is the Maple Leaf country.
29 - Canada is compensating well for the loss of Will Johnson, their goalscorer from the opener.
31- Defender Jakovic just missed the ball, but Bidrece gets called for a push before he can take advantage of the lapse.
36 - FK Haiti - cleared out of the box.
38 - Another FK for Haiti. This one is wide.
41- Hall puts in another nice cross, but this one Johnny Placide cuts off.
42 - Another Haiti FK, into the wall, out for a FT.
43 - Fabrice Noel shoots hard - side netting. That woke the crowd up a little.
44- Lescinel Jean-Francois is down. He's taken off on a stretcher. Looks to be an ankle?
45 - Jacob Lensky tries to take advantage, but he puts his shot wide.
Hugo Sanchez can't complain about the grass today - they cut it on both Thursday and today to make sure it was short enough to please him.

Halftime - Canada looks to be making up for a very disappointing U20 World Cup. It might be that hosting (the U.S.) and home crowd support (Mexico) is actually a disadvantage in terms of pressure. Canada showed up as an overlooked underdog, perhaps. They've certainly become the Cinderella story of qualifying. I shouldn't go overboard, though, because there's another half to go.

47 - Canada isn't sitting back. They've attacked and earned a corner. It's cleared and Hait takes off on a counter.
49- That gets snuffed and Canada earns another corner. GK - someone fouled the keep.
53 - The Guatemalans are loyal fans. They're actually ahead on the flag count hanging over the walls of stadium. Guatemala - 5, Mexico - 4.
55 - Lescinel with a great chance, but he put his shot into the side netting. Close.
58 - Andrazes Ornoch slams a shot that beats the keeper - yikes, it goes off the crossbar.
62 - A through ball leads to a Haiti breakaway that strands Wagenaar against the attacker. he races out and slide tackles the ball away. That was pretty impressive. Nick Dasovic mentioned at yesterday's presser that Wagenaar is out of contract and half-jokingly asked for an MLS team to sign him. They might just take him up on that if he continues to pull off plays like that.
64 - Sony Norde uncorks from 30 yards out. It's on target, but come on, that's not going to beat Wagenaar.
65 - Jair Marrufo, the ref, hears it from the crowd for that last call.
66- Lescinel is down again. He walks this one off.
71 - GOAL! Haiti! Alain Gustave! He rockets the ball into the goal off a feed from Leonel Saint- Preux, who got a pass from Fabrice Noel. The crowd cheers enthusiastically. Mexico doesn't want Canada taking full points away from this game. Guatemala probably doesn't, either. 1-1
78 - Leonel with another shot from the top of the arc, but Wagenaar parries this one away.
81 - Canada has perhaps run out of steam. The pace of the match has picked up considerably, and Haiti is making strong runs and threatening the goal.
84 - Leonel gets a corner for Haiti. It's cleared, but Haiti keeps knocking on that door. Wagenaar is out to punch the ball away. It travels to Jacqueson, who tries to beat a backpedaling Wagenaar, but fires it over the bar.
85 - GOAL! Leonel fires a cross (had to be) from 40 yards out and it looks like Beckham struck the ball, because it bends beautifully over a jumping Wagenaar and into the upper 90 side netting. Awesome strike, even if I suspect it was accidental. 2-1 Haiti leads. (At the presser, I asked Leonel about the goal. He said he saw the goalkeeper out a bit and went for the shot and thank God, it went in. I'm not quite convinced, but perhaps it was divine intervention.)
89 - Stunning goal. Leonel celebrated by running to the corner flag and sliding flat on his back. Canada is looking so tired now. The clock had definitely struck midnight.
90 - Toisaint Ricketts with a Hail Mary shot from the top of the arc. It goes way over the bar. Not close.
CK for Canada - cleared. Leonel steps over the ball multiple times on an energetic attack. Haiti looks full of confidence.
Full-time. The Haitian contingent in the pressbox celebrates. They're thrilled. 2-1 victory for Haiti.