The Mexican U-23 team ensured their spot in the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament with a 0-1 win against Haiti. The result ends Haiti’s chances of qualifying with one game remaining in the group stage.
Mexico controlled the game and outshot Haiti 23-8 (14-2 in terms of shots on goal), and yet it took a 73rd-minute penalty kick to separate the sides. The marksmanship that saw Mexico thrash Costa Rica on Friday was not present tonight, and it looked like despite everything, El Tri was going to have to settle for a goalless draw.
And then Erick Aguirre was taken down inside the box, and referee Christopher Reid didn’t hesitate to point to the penalty spot. Raúl López stepped up to take the spot kick, and he sent it to the keeper’s left to finally give Mexico the deserved lead.
That goal took the pressure off Mexico, and in the final stanza of the game Marco Bueno appeared to have made it 0-2, only for the goal to be disallowed due to a supposed handball.
In the final Group B games on Wednesday, Mexico and Honduras will square off for first place in the group, while the already-eliminated Haiti and Costa Rica will play for pride.
With the 0-1 win, Mexico reaches six points while Haiti remains on zero.
Haiti: Luis Odelus, Stephane Lambese, Severe Verilus, Jude Saint Louis, Alex Christian, Fernander Demas (Zachary Herivaux 45′), Benchy Estama (Christiano Francois 56′), Chadeley Germain, Venel Saint Fort, Woodensky Cherenfant, Jonel Desire (Manchini Telfort 77′).
Mexico: Manuel Lajud, Erick Aguirre, Hedgardo Marín, Jordan Silva, Rodolfo Pizarro, Daniel Álvarez (Raúl López 45′), Josécarlos Van Rankin (Hirving Lozano 45′), Víctor Guzmán, Arturo González (Erick Gutiérrez 59′), Marco Bueno, Luis Loroña.
Group Table – Group B