Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VIDEO:Haiti Vs Costa Rica 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match Preview

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches


Haiti arrive at the qualifying rounds for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with cautious hopes of re-living their glory days of 1974 when they reached the finals in West Germany. Reigning champions of the Caribbean, Haiti - which occupies one-third of the island of Hispaniola - has a host of up-and-coming talent to choose from and some positive recent developments at organizational and political level that will bolster confidence ahead of what many are hoping will be the long road to South Africa.

Even so, the islanders nearly went out at the first hurdle. Meeting a revamped Netherlands Antilles over two legs, the Haitians could not produce a single goal and only the fortune of an Antillean own goal in the second leg saw them through on a decidedly unimpressive 1-0 aggregate scoreline.

It was a far from their Caribbean Cup glory of a year ago. The last team to qualify for the 2007 tournament, they played a record 13 matches that culminated in a 2-1 win over hosts Trinidad & Tobago in front of 20,000 fans in Port of Spain. The final whistle brought the Haitians’ first Caribbean crown in their 107-year history of organized football.

Not enough can be said about the achievement, as captain and final man of the match Richard Pierre Bruney’s booming reaction clearly indicates. “I am very happy and we are all very happy,” he remarked. “This is an important moment for us because we achieved our first win in this competition. We wanted to do it and we played our best game and got the winning result…this is a win for the people of Haiti.”

Back home in Port au Prince, the capital of a country where the vast majority live in abject poverty and one that has been singled out as the least developed in the Western Hemisphere, football has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people. The Caribbean Cup title was celebrated long and hard and took pride of place right up alongside the legendary Emmanuel Sanon’s strike against Italy back in Munich in 1974.

The historic win also saw the side, led by foraging captain Bruney, Alexandre Boucicaut and Fucien Brunel, qualify for the finals of the biannual CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time since 2002. Once there, they earned two creditable draws against much-improved Guadeloupe and mighty Costa Rica before being eliminated after a slim loss to Canada.

Always known for a tigerish devotion to tough-tackling and improvisational technique, Haiti seem to have found an organised system to complement their native technique. Improvements at youth level (Haiti are currently Caribbean U-20 and U-17 champions) will also help to provide the seniors with a deeper bench than in past years.

Since qualifying for Germany 1974 and finishing a close second to Mexico ahead of Argentina 1978, FIFA World Cup qualifying has not been kind to the long-suffering islanders. Now though, South Africa beckons and Haiti is again expecting success as their first group stage is a manageable one, featuring Costa Rica, Suriname and El Salvador.


Costa Rica


The retirement of icon Paulo Cesar Wanchope left the Costa Rican national team with a void out on the pitch and a lack of out-and-out star power. As a result, the side has struggled in their first steps toward the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. After drawing with Caribbean upstarts Grenada 2-2 on the road in St George’s in the CONCACAF second round first leg, the Ticos won the return fixture 3-0 at home (5-2 on aggregate) to book passage to the first group stage, where they will meet El Salvador, Haiti and Suriname.

The nervy nature of the journey, though, saw coach Hernan Medford sacked in favor of former Olympic boss and Saprissa standout Rodrigo Kenton, who takes over at the start of the first group stage.

Costa Rica did not enjoy the smoothest of rides en route to Germany 2006, so their slow start this time around is not exactly a surprise. After nearly going out to Cuba in the early rounds, they eventually righted the ship and qualified for Germany, only to be sent home after the first round after failing to collect a point from their three games.

The Costa Ricans then embarked on a rebuilding process, which brought with it some progress. In June 2007, the team competed in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The squad’s lack of preparation time was reflected in their inconsistent group form, which saw them lose 2-1 to Canada, draw 1-1 with Haiti and beat Guadalupe 1-0. And while this was good enough to see them progress, Mexico simply proved too strong in the quarter-finals, a 1-0 defeat sending Medford’s men back to San Jose.

Kenton’s Costa Rican squad continues to be dominated by European-based players, alongside big names from local club giants like Saprissa and Alajuelense.

Qualification for South Africa therefore rests with captain Gilberto Martínez (Brescia), ably supported by the likes of Cristian Bolanos (Odense), Pablo Chinchilla (Altach), Carlos Castro and Douglas Sequeira (Tromso). Also in the squad are Saprissa’s outstanding goalkeeper Francisco Porras, Walter Centeno and Jose Luis Lopez, alongside Pablo Herrera and Victor Nunez from Alajuelense.

Haiti vs Costa Rica - June 9, 2007

Haiti 1 - 1 Costa Rica


Source: World365/Concacaf /ESPN

No comments:

Post a Comment