CanMNT look to make history against rivals Haiti

CanMNT player Alphonso Davies gets a shot on goal in the Concacaf Nations League

PREVIEW – Both Haiti and CanMNT look to make history in their two-legged tie on June 12 and 15. The CanMNT has not made the final stage of World Cup qualifying since 1998. This is while the last time Haiti made the final stage of Concacaf World Cup qualifying was in 1982 (there’s a case that Haiti made the final round in 1986). On both occasions, Haiti and Canada finished last in the final hexagonal round.

There are lots of similarities between these federations. Both countries only made the FIFA World Cup once in their nation’s history. Haiti made the FIFA World Cup in 1974 while Canada made the FIFA World Cup in 1986. Also, CanMNT and Haiti finished their first round with a perfect record. Haiti had three wins in three games while Canada had four wins in four games. There is a lot on the line for both teams.

CanMNT look to make history against Haiti

Canada’s Concacaf World Cup qualifying campaign

The CanMNT and how they progressed to the second round

CanMNT probably had the best group stage of all the Concacaf nations in round one. Not only did they get four wins, but had a goal differential of +26. Even taking into account that Haiti played one less game than Canada, Canada has a +13 in goal differential compared to Haiti. This shows the quality and danger the CanMNT brings to Haiti. This includes defeating Bermuda 5-1, the Cayman Islands 0-11, and Aruba 0-7.

Their main opponent in round one of world cup qualifying was Suriname. They have a lot of Dutch-born players, who currently play in Europe. This includes 1. FC Union Berlin player Sheraldo Becker. He was probably the best player for Suriname in the World Cup qualifier against Canada.

How CanMNT won against Suriname?

Still, after a bit of a sloppy start, CanMNT took control of the game. Most notably, the play of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David helped the Canadian men’s national team to a 4-0 victory over Suriname.

David had a hat-trick, while Davies had one goal and two assists. Credit also to Vancouver Whitecaps FC player Lucas Cavallini who drew the penalty that resulted in David’s hat-trick. David, who plays for reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille OSC, and Davies with reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are probably their best two players.

They also have winners with Cyle Larin, who won the Süper Lig championship with Turkish side Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü. This is while Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan won the SuperLiga title with Red Star Belgrade.

It was also not just David and Davies who performed well against Suriname. This is what Canadian men’s soccer coach John Herdman said about the performance:

“You have to highlight the supporting cast, Stephen Eustáquio was just brilliant with the ball, a metronome in this side. And all those combinations on the side with Osorio and Sam Piette, another solid performance.”

This shows that Canada is not only about Davies and David. Some other players in Europe and players in MLS have emerged in the last few years that makes Canada a dangerous squad. An example shown above is Eustáquio, a midfielder for F.C. Paços de Ferreira. Then there is Canadian MLS players in Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio and CF Montréal’s Samuel Piette.

Haiti

Haiti advances to the second round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying

Haiti, the team that defeated Canada 3-2 in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, looks to eliminate Canada again in this two-legged tie. They also made it out of the first round comfortably.  It started with a 2-0 win over Belize in Haiti. They would then win against Turks and Caicos 0-10.

Their biggest adversary was Nicaragua, which had a slightly worse goal differential before their final game began. However, the advantage of playing at Port-au-Prince helped Haiti secure the 1-0 victory over Nicaragua. Derrick Etienne Jr. scored the game-winning goal thanks to some great and timely passing by the Haitian side.

The Haiti squad’s roster

Etienne Jr. is the lone MLS player from Haiti and he currently plays for defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew SC. He is an attacking midfielder. The other player from a top-flight in Canada and/or the U.S. is centre-back Jems Geffrard, who plays for CPL’s HFX Wanderers FC.

There are two other players from the Haitian squad that plays for a US-based squad but do not play in MLS. This is Christiano Francois of Miami FC and Mechack Jérôme of El Paso Locomotive FC. They also have a player named Steeven Saba, who plays in the local Haitian league with Haitian club Violette Port-au-Prince. Haiti also has a player that plays in the Dominican Republic and many players that play in Europe.

Haiti eliminated Canada from the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, but the all-time head-to-head match-up heavily favours Canada. Both teams have played 11 games against each other. Canada has won seven and tied and lost two games each against Haiti.

CanMNT v. Haiti overview and predictions

CanMNT went through their first true test with a 4-0 win over Suriname. Canada will now get another test in Haiti. This is what CanMNT and Bayern Munich player Alphonso Davies said about the matchup:

“We’re excited for the game,” said Davies. “We know that we lost to Haiti in the Gold Cup, it was a tough defeat, but we’re ready and we’re excited for these two legs coming up.”

CanMNT head coach Herdman also said something in the same article by Bennedict Rhodes, a CANPL.CA Contributor for the Canadian Premier League. Herdman said that Canada has been looking forward to this matchup for two years.

The first leg kicks off on June 12 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The game will take place in Haiti at Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince. This is while Canada’s home leg will take place on June 15 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The game will take place in the U.S., at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Prediction: Haiti is a good team, but CanMNT has greatly improved since 2019. Canada will win leg one 1-2 and then win their home leg 2-0.

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