MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Haiti launched itself back into contention for a quarterfinal berth at the CONCACAF Gold Cup behind a 2-0 Group B victory over Caribbean rival Trinidad & Tobago at Sun Life Stadium on Friday.
Jean-Eudes Maurice scored both goals for the Haitians, one in each half.
The win gave Haiti (1-0-1, 3 points) its first points of the competition with one group-stage game left to play against El Salvador in Houston on Monday. Trinidad, which drew 2-2 with El Salvador on Monday, has one point.
Knowing that anything less than a victory was necessary to remain in realistic contention for a quarterfinal place, Haiti started the game by attacking the right side of the Trinidadian defense through the attacking duo of Jean Philippe Peguero and Maurice.
Those tactical and personnel choices paid dividends in the 16th minute, when midfielder Jeff Louis fired a 25-meter shot that was initially saved by goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams. The ball fell perfectly in line for the left foot of Maurice, who hammered the ball to the back of the net.
Trinidad’s backline was regularly placed under pressure, which made it difficult to kick-start the offense. Daryl Roberts, however, did send an attempt wide right from in front of the Haitian goal, following a fluid build-up orchestrated by Carlos Edwards.
Shortly after the break, Trinidad nearly equalized as Edwards broke away down the left flank and fired a cross to Kenwyne Jones, whose header struck the far post.
That miss proved costly in the 53rd minute. Williams deflected a searching cross from Yves Desmaret into the path of Maurice, enabling the 27-year-old to double his team’s advantage..
On Monday, Trinidad faces a must-win situation against Honduras in the last group game for each at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
NOTES: Maurice became the first Haitian to score two goals in a Gold Cup game after 14 all-time encounters … Trinidad & Tobago is winless in its last 11 Gold Cup outings (last win came against Costa Rica, 2-1, in a quarterfinal match on February 20, 2000).