HOUSTON, Texas – A semifinal berth in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup will be at stake when Canada takes on Haiti on Saturday night in Houston, and Canada Head Coach John Herdman knows there will be little room for error.
“Haiti have their strengths, their athleticism, they are a real threat in counterattacks, they have some top players,” said Herdman in Friday’s pre-match press conference.
“[Haiti MF Derrick] Etienne is showing his quality in this tournament, I just think there will be a collective presence there, they’ll be physical and we have to match that and we’ll see where it goes. It’s a knockout game and these can go either way. The margins are thin,” added Herdman.
The Canada boss alluded specifically to Haiti’s perfect group stage record as proof enough that underestimating the Caribbean side would be a grave mistake.
“I think any team that has taken three wins in the group stage and has beaten one of the favorites in Costa Rica will be confident. They’ll be arriving high, so that is always an added worry when a team has got that confidence in place, but I think we know that it’ll be a tough match no matter what,” said Herdman.
While Herdman is wary of the threat possessed by Haiti, he remains plenty confident that his side has the quality to toe-to-toe with the Haitians and to bring home a victory.
“Our players are excited for this one. They are chomping at the bit with the extra two days the players can’t wait to go out and play. We want to take care of business in this match.
“We have been building the cohesion since June 3 and I feel like there is a collective spirit. All in all, it’s going to be a great match. Haiti have a great spirit. Tactically, they are well organized. It’ll be a tough match, but we’ve got a lot of talent. It’s a team we respect, but don’t fear,” concluded Herdman.