The Haitians had been the surprise of the tournament with an upset victory against Costa Rica in the group stage and an epic come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals, but their Cinderella story couldn’t stretch to getting them to the final.
Mexico dominated possession form the opening whistle – with 76% of it in the first half – but Haitian goalkeeper Jhony Placide was in fine form to keep El Tri off the board. His best save of the half came against Raúl Jiménez, when he made a diving stop to keep out the header.
The game got a bit more even in the second half, with Frantzdy Pierrot getting past Héctor Moreno in the 49th minute, but he couldn’t get his shot on frame.
The deadlock continued. Andrés Guardado came closest to a breakthrough with his free kick, but once again Placide made an impressive save to keep the game goalless.
With the game still tied 0-0 at the end of regulation, it went into extra time.
Just two minutes into the additional thirty, Herve Bazile made contact with Jiménez in the box and the Qatari referee did not hesitate to award a penalty kick to Mexico. With no VAR in the Gold Cup, Haitian protests were useless.
Jiménez stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty to give El Tri – finally – the 1-0 lead.
Haiti continued to press for a comeback – after having won a record-setting three games from losing positions earlier in the tournament – and Mikael Cantave came within inches in the final minutes as he hit the woodwork. But in the end, Mexico held on.
With the 1-0 win, Mexico advances to the final to play the USA/Jamaica winner, while Haiti is eliminated.