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10-woman Haiti tops Guatemala in CWC opener
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(ABOVE) Sequence from which Haiti (red jersey) scored its only goal in a 1-0 win over Guatemala in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on October 15, 2014, in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Despite being reduced to 10 players early in the first half, Haiti earned a 1-0 win over Guatemala on Wednesday in the opening match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship (CWC) at Sporting Park. 

Lindsay Zullo scored the game’s only goal in the 69th minute, completing a wild sequence that could have seen any of three players claim credit. 

The victory gives the Haitians an initial lead in Group A with the United States set to face Trinidad & Tobago later in the evening.

Guatemala may look back on the encounter as an opportunity lost.  In the 17th minute, after mishandling a long pass played into the box by Marilyn Rivera, Haiti goalkeeper Cynthia Chery was shown a straight red for grabbing and impeding Ana Lucia Martinez.

Geralda Saintilus replaced Chery in goal as Haiti also decided to remove Wisline Dolce from the field.  Rivera stepped up to take the subsequent penalty, but Saintilus dove to her left to make a stunning save.

That miss would come back to haunt the Guatemalans, who were shutout for the 10th consecutive time in the competition.

In the 69th minute, Haiti was awarded a free kick in Guatemala’s end following a Kimberly De Leon foul on Kimberly Boulos.  Kensie Bobo delivered a ball into the middle of the box that was headed with power at goalkeeper Yoselin Franco.  The 19-year-old made a reflex stop, but while falling backwards palmed the ball into the path of Yvrose Gervil.  Before crossing the line, it deflected off Zullo’s stomach and into the net.

Guatemala could have taken the lead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.  Right-back Daniela Andrade sent a threatening cross into the Haitian area that Gervil headed inadvertently off her own crossbar.

Haiti returns to action on Friday against Trinidad & Tobago, while Guatemala will look to bounce back against the United States the same day.  Both matches will be played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. 

NOTES: Haiti improved to 2-0-0 all-time against Guatemala in CWC play … Haiti has won three of its last five CWC matches … After winning its first two CWC games, Guatemala has lost 10 straight.

To see Highlights from the game, click here.

 
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