HOUSTON, Texas – There was a wide smile from Haiti Coach Marc Collat following Saturday’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal with Canada, and with good reason as a comeback 3-2 win sends Haiti to its first ever Gold Cup semifinal.
Saturday’s victory marked the third time in the 2019 Gold Cup that Haiti managed to rally from a deficit to win a match, and the first time from a two-goal deficit.
Les Grenadiers are quickly assuming the role of “Comeback Kids” at the Gold Cup, yet Collat maintains it is all about the never-give-up spirit of his players.
“That's one of our specialties. The players have certain qualities and they know that as long as the match is going before the final whistle they have to fight,” said Collat.
For Collat, no major speech was needed at halftime with his team facing a 2-0 deficit. Instead, it was about making sure they stayed sound defensively and capitalizing on their opportunities in attack.
“There was not a big speech at halftime. We just looked at the fact that we had goals that could've been avoided. We created opportunities and (knew) if in the second half we were more serous we could be more difficult for them.
“I’m very proud to reach a Gold Cup semifinal for the first time. For us, it’s history and it’s a joy, but the tournament is not over and we want more. We will do everything to get ready for next game,” said Collat.
Yet the 69-year-old veteran coach knows that Haiti’s emergence in this Gold Cup could not have happened without the support of Concacaf, whose Nations League initiative helped pave the way for Haiti’s Gold Cup performance.
“Concacaf and FIFA have given us funds, which helps us bring players, better players, professional players who now will come to the Haiti team and play,” concluded Collat.