Gold Cup Nightly: Group B, Matchday One
Grenada 0-4 USA
Honduras 1-o Haiti
Haiti looked lively and active in the first part of the match. Honduras with the exception of a few core players basically has brought a B team to the Gold Cup while the European based players prepare for a new season or find new clubs. (Hendry Thomas for instance signed with Wigan this past week.)
Haiti qualified for the Gold Cup virtue of Cuba’s withdrawal. Thus not much was expected of them.
Haiti’s defense appeared well organized in the first half. Honduras really began to press forward after about minute 30 and controlled much of the action afterward.
The second half started as a stalemate. Haiti seemed determined not to press forward without sufficient cover at the back. This frustrated Honduras and chances in the run of play were limited. But a rare set piece opportunity led to the game’s lone goal by Carlo Costly one of the Honduras regulars playing.
Of interest to our readers, Fabrice Noel and James Marcelin of USL’s Puerto Rico Islanders both started and played well for Haiti. At the same time the Islanders without three players due to the Gold Cup struggled and drew with Miami FC 0-0 in Florida.
Honduras has traditionally not played well in the Gold Cup despite their football pedigree. But in 2005 they were unlucky against the USA controlling the match for about 80 minutes before Oguchi Onyewu and John O’Brien struck in rapid succession to lift the Americans into the Gold Cup final against Panama.