PHOENIX, Arizona – Shortly after Haiti’s 3-2 comeback win over Canada last Saturday in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals, videos surfaced on social media of the people of Haiti pouring onto the streets in celebration of the team’s first ever Gold Cup semifinal berth.
For Haiti Head Coach Marc Collat and his players, watching those scenes unfold in the country was a memory to cherish.
“We are proud to bring happiness to our people,” said Collat in his pre-match press conference on Monday. “When we saw the footage, it showed the interest in football in Haiti and for us it is something fantastic.”
If there was one quality that Collat could point to that has fueled his team’s emergence in this Gold Cup, it is its tireless tendency to work and never give up.
“This team has great determination. We have been preparing since May 26 with one thing in mind and that was to advance past the quarterfinals. We have done that and now we will face Mexico tomorrow,” said Collat.
In Mexico, Haiti will be taking on a team that has won the Gold Cup seven times. Yet for Collat, it presents a great opportunity to make more history against one of Concacaf’s most decorated national teams.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) there will be no pressure, but also no excuses. We are aware that everyone is watching in Haiti. It is extraordinary to be in a Gold Cup semifinal and our players are ready for the contest,” said Collat.
No matter what happens on Tuesday, Haiti will be forever remembered as the “comeback kids” in the 2019 Gold Cup for the three come-from-behind wins it has earned. It is a label that Collat warmly welcomes.
“It’s true that no one expected us to win. We were in a tough group and step by step we have won versus our opponents. We showed against Costa Rica and then against Canada we could ace those tough time and that we could come back,” concluded Collat.