Haiti edges T&T to earn Copa America Centenario berth

Haiti (pictured) celebrates after defeating Trinidad & Tobago for a place in the Copa America Centenario on January 8, 2016, at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Mexsport)

PANAMA CITY, Panama  -- Second-half substitute Pascal Millien scored in the 86th minute to lift Haiti to a dramatic 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago and into 2016 Copa America Centenario in a CONCACAF play-in match Friday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. 

Goalkeeper Steward Ceus produced several key saves to keep the Haitians in the match as he registered a clean sheet and extended T&T’s scoreless streak to 235 minutes.

On the winning goal, Millen delivered a right-wing cross into the penalty area intended for Kervens Belfort. The Turkey-based forward missed on an attempt to get his foot on the ball, which bounced past goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and rolled just inside the left post. 

The Soca Warriors had a few opportunities to take a first-half lead. Haiti goalkeeper Steward Ceus, however, punched away Khaleem Hyland's shot from inside the penalty area in the 17th minute and produced a two-handed save three minutes into first-half stoppage. 

Ceus misjudged a corner kick by Hyland in the 19th minute, but Jovein Jones could only get off a shot that traveled wide right of the goal and was cleared by the defense. 

The Haitians' did not threaten the T&T net much. In the 28th minute, Jean-Eudes Maurice produced a low, hard shot that Williams handled easily. 

In the second half, after some nifty passing around the box, Hyland fired a 12-yard shot that Ceus stopped on the hour mark. 

Three minutes later, Haiti’s Soni Mustivar fired his attempt wide right. 

Copa America Centenario, which will be held in the United States from June 3-26, will include 16 teams from South America and CONCACAF.  

Panama and Cuba will meet in the second game of the doubleheader for the tournament’s last berth.