Thursday, July 9, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Puerto Rico Islanders attackers Fabrice Noel and James Marcelin made the difference Wednesday night in Haiti’s 2-0 defeat of Grenada in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B action.
Making just their fourth appearance in the Gold Cup, the Haitian’s win over Grenada is the nation’s first Gold Cup victory against a CONCACAF nation and only their third ever in the tournament.
Noel (right in photo) started off the scoring in the 14th minute when a teammate Brunel Fucien whipped a free kick into the box from the left which Grenadian goalkeeper Desmond Noel failed to punch, struck the Haitian Noel in the head, and slowly trickled over the goal line.
Marcelin put his mark on the match in the 78th minute by virtue of a gaffe by Grenada defender Anthony Modeste. After a ball was sent through the Grenadian defense, Modeste looked prime to clear it out of bounds but surprisingly walked over the ball and allowed a poaching Marcelin a one-on-one with Desmond Noel. The Islanders midfielder hit the ball with confidence past the onrushing keeper and clinched the victory for Le Rouge est Bleu.
The result puts Haiti even with Honduras in Group B. The Catrachos dropped a 2-0 result later in the evening to the United States.
Both Haiti and Honduras have all to play for in Saturday’s Group B finale as they try to qualify for the Gold Cup quarterfinals. The Haitians will take on the tournament hosts and group leading United States while Honduras faces a Grenada team who has yet to even score a goal in two matches during the tournament.
On Tuesday night, Islanders striker Nicholas Addlery played the first half of Jamaica’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica. The Reggae Boyz dropped their opening match of the tournament 1-0 to Canada and will need a win against El Salvador and some help on Friday night to stand any chance of advancement to the quarterfinals.