Haiti, Mexico battle to CU20 draw
Action from the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship game between Mexico (green jersey) and Haiti on January 22, 2015, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Haiti and Mexico played to a 1-1 draw in the final group stage game of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Thursday evening.
With its qualification to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup already assured, Mexico made numerous changes to the lineup. The two-time defending champion's competition record 14-game winning streak also came to an end.
Nerlin Saint-Vil scored with a stunning strike to cancel out Mexico’s first half advantage. His left-footed effort from 25-yards out in the 53rd minute flew into the upper top corner, leaving goalkeeper Edson Resendez with no chance.
Mexico opened the scoring in the 38th minute with a bit of fortune. Mauro Lainez’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box was deflected past Haitian goalkeeper Ramos Pointe Jour by his defender Marckendel Paul.
Having the majority of possession and scoring opportunities, Mexico couldn’t generate another goal.
Victor Guzman rattled the crossbar from long distance just before the half.
Mexico then hit the woodwork once more in the 57th minute after Luis Marquez controlled a Jose Robles cross.
Pablo Jaquez glanced a header wide from six-yards out off a Tricolor free kick in the 82nd minute and Diego Pineda saw his shot blocked in the first minute of second half stoppage time.
Mexico (4-1-0) finished atop Group B and will face Group A champion Panama (5-0-0, 15 points) in Saturday’s final, while Haiti returns with three draws and two losses in five games.