Haiti tops Nicaragua, clinches spot in Gold Cup knockouts

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Just days after securing its first-ever Gold Cup win, Haiti has secured its first-ever spot in the Gold Cup knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Nicaragua, giving them six points in Group B play.

The first came in the 24th minute as they pinged the ball around the top of the box before Steeven Saba let fly a speculative shot from the top of the box that skittered through traffic and seemed to catch Nicaragua goalkeeper Justo Lorente off guard, as his dive was late and the ball found the back of the net.

The second came on another Nicaragua error at the back as a shot through traffic from Derrick Etienne deflected off defender Manuel Rosas and kicked around a diving Lorente straight into the net.

Nicaragua pressed hard for a winner but again had no end product to show for it, holding 70% of possession but creating just three shots on target the entire match. After drawing a blank against Costa Rica in the opener, Nicaragua’s attack slumped again in a foul-heavy match that saw the referee blow his whistle a combined 35 times and hand out six yellow cards, four to Haiti as they looked to hang on late.

Haiti will now test itself against Costa Rica in its final group stage match with a chance to win the group while Nicaragua would be eliminated with a Costa Rica win or draw in the evening match against Bermuda.