Haiti scored two goal in 12 minutes to seal a shock come from behind 2-1 victory Friday night in the first game of a doubleheader at Home Depot Center.
The Canadians, on the defensive for much of the second half after opening the scoring through Tyler Rosenlund (who doesn’t have a club, but might after tonight) in the 17th minute, only had themselves to blame.
The first Haitian goal came after Canadian Nikolas Ledgerwood went down injured in the 72nd minute and a teammate put the ball out of play. The Canadians expected Haiti to give the ball back to them as is customarily done in soccer, but instead Leonel Saint-Preux passed to wide-open substitute Alain Gustave who volleyed home a first-time shot from 17 yards.
Canadian Coach Nick Dasovic was not amused.
“For our fair play we got it in the backside you might say,” he said. “It was atrocious.”
Haiti sealed the win in the 84th minute with a beautifully taken long-range shot from at least 35 yards out that soared into the top corner and caught Canadian goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, on trial with Toronto FC, off-guard and out of position.
The Canadians had seen a chance for a second goal evaporate in the 54th minute when Andrazes Ornoch hit the bar from 17 yards out, but Dasovic blamed a lack of fitness and inexperience for the loss that sent his team spiraling to the bottom of Group B.
“We knew the Haitian team has a strong team physically and they were obviously emotionally driven,” he said. “I think our boys were a little bit naive. … I kept yelling to them a draw is good, we didn’t need to win today.”
But Canada needed to avoid losing – and didn’t.
Next up tonight: Mexico-Guatemala.