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Haiti 0 Jamaica 1: Barnes sends surprise packages home

Giles Barnes was the difference in Baltimore after Jamaica survived to beat Haiti 1-0, ending the minnows’ fairytale run at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday.

Haiti defied the odds to advance to the quarter-finals as runners-up behind defending champions and tournaments hosts United States in Group A.

However, Haiti’s run came to an end against their Caribbean neighbours at M&T Bank Stadium.

Barnes netted the only goal of the match in the seventh minute, with the Houston Dynamo striker dispossessing Frantz Bertin before finding the net from an acute angle as Jamaica earned a semi-final showdown against USA.

Haiti made two changes to the team that beat Honduras, with Jean Alexandre and Jean Maurice coming in for Pascal Millien and Kervens Belfort.

There were four changes to Jamaica’s starting XI following their win over El Salvador, with Ryan Thompson, Michael Hector, Joel Grant and Simon Dawkins named ahead of Dwayne Miller (injured), Jermaine Taylor, Je-Vaughn Watson and Darren Mattocks (suspended).

Jamaica put their stamp on proceedings early as they took the lead with the seventh-minute opener via Barnes.

Barnes made a darting run to the front post and pounced on some poor defending from Bertin, who reacted slowly and failed to clear the danger as the former tucked the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Johnny Placide from a tight angle.

Haiti eventually found their rhythm as the half wore on, and the minnows were unfortunate not to equalise on at least two occasions.

James Marcelin got his boot to the ball from a corner but his 14th-minute shot was straight down the throat of Ryan Thompson, while the best opportunity of the half fell to forward Duckens Nazon, who hit the post with a powerful low strike from outside the box 10 minutes later.

Jamaica were not without their chances as striker Dawkins saw his effort flash wide of the post just past the half-hour mark.

The second half was a scrappy affair with clear-cut opportunities at a premium.

Haiti were lucky not to be punished in the 56th minute after Placide’s goal-kick went straight to Jobi McAnuff, who was denied by the keeper from close range, while Barnes sent his rebound over the crossbar.

At the other end, Haiti continued to push forward in search of an equaliser but they lacked the final product, summed up by Belfort’s header that glanced just wide of the post in the first minute of injury time.

Sun 19 Jul, 2015
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