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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Costa Rica falls to Haiti, finishes second in Group B

Costa Rica faltered in the second half and fell, 2-1, to Haiti on Monday in the final Group B match of the 2019 Gold Cup.

The result earns Haiti first place in the group — marking the first time in its history that the Caribbean nation has won its Gold Cup group. While La Sele had already qualified to the tournament quarterfinals, Costa Rica’s second-place finish creates a more difficult matchup against Mexico.

Haiti was the stronger team after halftime and was rewarded with a 57th-minute penalty kick, which Duckens Nazon converted.

Several saves from Tico goalkeeper Leonel Moreira — including a full-stretch stop on a Nazon effort – kept Costa Rica’s first-place hopes afloat, but Djimy-Bend Alexis pounced on a missed clearance in the 81st minute to deliver Haiti the decisive lead.

Costa Rica had enjoyed a comfortable first half, and La Sele’s pressure paid off in the form of a 13th-minute own-goal after a header from striker Alvaro Saborío.

But Haiti demonstrated its superiority in the second half, sending La Sele reeling into Saturday’s meeting against Mexico at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

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