Haiti, Costa Rica battle to CMOQ stalemate

Action from the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship game between Haiti and Costa Rica (white jersey) on October 7, 2015, in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo: Mexsport)

COMMERCE CITY, Colorado – With one last chance for each to register a win in the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, Haiti (0W-1D-2L, 1 point) and Costa Rica (0W-1D-2L, 1 point) wrangled to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. 

Both sides had already been eliminated from contention, playing only for pride and a possible third-place finish in Group B. Mexico (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) and Honduras (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) will battle for the top spot later in the evening. 

Paulson Pierre gave the Haitians a 1-0 in the 51st minute, curling a left-footed shot from near the top-right corner of the six-yard box after Stephane Lambese touched the ball to initiate an indirect free kick. 

The Caribbean champion nearly doubled its lead in the 68th minute, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Carlos Martinez did well to deflect a venomous right-footed effort by Jonel Desire onto the crossbar. 

With nine minutes left in normal time, Costa Rica struck for the equalizer in spectacular fashion. Joseph Mora delivered a left-sided cross that defender Jude Saint-Louis headed just outside the top of the box. Without hesitation, Dylan Flores ripped a right-footed missile past stunned goalkeeper Luis Valendi Odelus. 

Haiti conceded one goal in each of its three CMOQ outings, while Costa Rica came up short in a bid to reach the Olympic Games for the second time in more than 30 years.