Haiti looks to shock the world again
The next round of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup has arrived! We have finally reached the quarterfinals of this tournament where the eight best teams remaining are one step closer to the Gold Cup trophy. The quarterfinals begin with one of the more interesting matchups thus far. Canada (second in Group A), looking to win just its second Gold Cup title, takes on Haiti (Group B winner), a team that continues to surprise everybody. This is the Haitians' fourth appearance in the knockout stage.
Canada vs. Haiti
When: Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: NRG Stadium (Houston)
TV: FS1 and Univision
Three Things to Watch
1. Haiti is fearless
This Haitian team has shown us as much each time out thus far, as they have taken the pitch and played their game no matter who the opponent was. They won Group B by edging Bermuda during the opening weekend, shutting out Nicaragua a few days later, then pulled off the ultimate upset this past Monday by holding off Costa Rica to win the block. That was Haiti's biggest win of the tournament thus far and many don't quite realize the magnitude of that victory. The Haitians held Central America's best team to just one goal despite being outshot 13-11, having the ball stolen from them 26 times, losing the possession game (68 vs. 32 percent), and committing 17 fouls. Haiti is more than ready for the challenge that Canada presents.
2. Oh, Canada
The only blemish on the Canadians' record during Group A play was a 3-1 loss to group winner Mexico. Beyond that our neighbors to the north easily dispatched both Martinique and Cuba by a combined score of 11-0. Forwards Jonathan David, Lucas Cavallini, and Junior Hoilett have been lights out for Canada, combining for 11 of the team's 12 goals. Canada will give Haiti another tough defensive test.
3. What's at stake for both teams
A win for Haiti puts them in the Gold Cup semifinals for the first time in team history. A win for Canada gives them their first semifinal berth since 2007, and their third semifinal appearance overall. Haiti looks to make history while Canada looks to keep the Gold Cup trophy within the North American region. Don't sleep on this game.
This will be the eighth time that these nations have met on the field. Canada holds a 5-1-2 advantage, but Haiti has made a believer out of me. Their performance against Costa Rica proved to me that this team can keep pace with anybody in this tournament. The Haitians have another inspiring performance and fight their way into the semifinals.
Prediction: Haiti 3, Canada 2
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.