Derrick Etienne Jr. and Haiti won a crucial match over Nicaragua, booking passage to the Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals.
Etienne put in a 90 minute shift, forcing an own goal and picking up a yellow card in the match. Haiti won comfortably 2-0.
The Haitian’s opened the scoring in the 23rd minute thanks to a deflection on Steven Saba’s shot. Saba received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box while Nicaragua looked to defend deep. Eight Nicaraguan players hung around the box, looking to frustrate the Hatians. Saba took the opportunity to strike from distance. The shot deflected off of a defender, and rolled into the net.
Etienne created Haiti’s second just ten minutes later. Duckens Nazon played a give and go with Etienne, sending the winger streaking down the left side. Etienne dribbled towards goal, cutting to his right and the top of the box before switching back to his left. The move opened just enough space for Etienne to fire a low shot with his left foot, deflecting off of Manuel Rosas into the net.
Nicaragua struggled to find answers after the goals, despite holding over 71% possession and outshooting Haiti 11 to 9. Haiti kept the match physical, tactically disciplined, and looked for chances on the counter. Nicaragua grew frustrated by the end of the match. Etienne drew a yellow card in the 84th minute following a pushing match with Byron Bonilla.
Next up, Haiti face Costa Rica to likely decide the group B winners before moving onto the knockout rounds.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography