Bermuda made a strong first impression in their Gold Cup debut, but they had no answer for Frantzdy Pierrot.
The striker led Haiti to a 2-1 comeback win over Bermuda at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica, the first half of a Group B doubleheader and the first-ever Gold Cup match played outside the United States, Mexico or Canada.
Bermuda, one of the smallest nations in Concacaf with a domestic population of just over 71,000, entertained with their skill and possession in the first 45 minutes and took a deserved lead into halftime via Dante Leverock's corner-kick header.
The Gombey Warriors' defending let them down after the break, however, and it cost them dearly.
Haiti levels the score!!! 🇭🇹— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
Frantzdy Pierrot heads home a well executed set piece and we're all tied up in the second half. pic.twitter.com/Pl23pX4Z2y
First Pierrot, who plays his club soccer for Belgium's Royal Excel Mouscron, headed home a well-worked set-piece delivery at the far post to equalize, and 12 minutes later he stroked in the rebound after Bermuda goalkeeper Dale Eve parried a Duckens Nazon shot into his path.
New York Red Bulls Homegrown Derrick Etienne gave Haiti a spark off the bench and was prominently involved in the buildup to the game-winner, while New England Revolution midfielder Zach Herivaux worked the full 90 minutes at the base of Haiti's midfield.
- 45+2' – BER – Dante Leverock
- 54' – HAI – Frantzdy Pierrot
- 66' – HAI – Frantzdy Pierrot
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's encouraging to watch Cinderellas like Bermuda seize the opportunities provided by this tournament's expansion, though their naivete showed as they allowed Haiti to slip past them and grab the advantage in the race for second place in Group B behind expected winners Costa Rica.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Etienne's direct run down Haiti's left flank disorganized the Bermuda defense and set the stage for Pierrot's winner:
HAITI TAKE THE LEAD!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
Frantzdy Pierrot scores his second of the match and puts 🇭🇹 on 🔝 pic.twitter.com/vvWkLWIHwA
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Etienne was the eye-catching supersub who changed the game, Pierrot gets the nod for his composure in front of goal.
- HAI: Thursday, June 20 vs. Nicaragua (7 pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN; TSN1/4/5 in Canada) | Gold Cup
- BER: Thursday, June 20 vs. Costa Rica (9:30 pm ET | FS1, UDN; TSN4 in Canada) | Gold Cup