Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #146 | Mexico v Haiti

Easily one of the most impressive stadiums in the NFL, State Farm Stadium was repurposed for the Gold Cup semi final clash between tournament favourites Mexico and surprise package Haiti. Passion and pride in spades, but in their first-ever Gold Cup semi-final, would it be the end of the underdog's story?

Mexicans flooded the home of the Arizona Cardinals, outnumbering the support that has built for Haiti throughout the fairytale-esque journey of the small Caribbean island. Ranked 101st in FIFA’s rankings, theirs has been a journey that has defied odds and, at time, logic, to the point where they found themselves in a semi-final following a remarkable comeback victory against Canada. Now they had a realistic chance of making it to their first-ever Gold Cup final. Neutrals had fallen for the romantic nature of their journey so far. Just the favourites to beat. 


With the retractable roof closed, the air-conditioned atmosphere still carried a heat as the pressure was applied by the Mexicans; El Tri pinning Haiti back from the first whistle, enjoying 76 percent of possession in the first half and only allowing Haiti one shot on goal over the entire 90 minutes. But despite this domination they couldn't find a breakthrough – Haiti’s defence remaining doggedly resolute. 

And so, for the second time in two matches following a seven match winning streak, and much to the frustration of the supporters within the stadium, Mexico were held and the game went into extra time. And then the decisive moment occured: a penalty awarded as Haiti's Herve Bazile clipped Jimenez. Minimal contact, but the Wolves man stepped up and dispatched the penalty for his fifth goal of the tournament, sending Mexico to the final at Chicago's Soldier Field on Sunday. Haiti eliminated, but their stock well and truly risen.


Photography by Grace Stufkosky for SoccerBible.


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