Haiti kicks off its 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign against Bermuda in Match 3 on June 16, 2019, at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Haiti and Bermuda both earned spots in the 2019 Gold Cup via the CONCACAF Nations League qualifying with Haiti winning that tournament and Bermuda finishing first. The Top 10 teams from the qualifying will join the 6 teams from the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying Hexagonal.
Both teams are bracketed in Group B along with group host Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The teams will play a single-round robin first round with the Top 2 teams from the group advancing to the quarterfinals stage. The winner of Group B will then take on the Runner-Up of Group A while the Runner-Up of Group B will face the Group A winner. Both games will be held on June 29, 2019, in Houston, Texas in the United States.
Bermuda is making its debut in the Gold Cup. The team qualified for the tournament for the first time ever after finishing 5th in the Nations League qualifiers. They will also head to the Gold Cup on a high note after winning their final warm-up for the Gold Cup, a 1-0 friendly against Guyana last week. Southampton Rangers’ captain Donte Brangman scored the only goal of the game in the first half but he left the game in the 69th minute with a hamstring injury
Here is Kyle Lightbourne’s final squad:
- Goalkeepers: Dale Eve, Jahquil Hill, Quinaceo Hunt
- Defenders: Oliver Harvey, Calon Minors, Roger Lee, Jaylon Bather, Dante Leverock, Justin Donawa
- Midfielders: Kacy Butterfield, Lejuan Simmons, Donte Brangman, Chikosi Basden, Zeiko Lewis, Willie Clemons, Osagi Bascome, Cecoy Robinson, Tre Ming, Reggie Lambe, Liam Evans, Marco Warren
- Forwards: Jonte Smith, Nahki Wells
Odds from Topbet.eu as of 6/09/19
Haiti went unbeaten and finished 1st in the 2019 CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying to book a spot in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Haiti won the Gold Cup in 1973 and were quarter-finalists in 2002 and 2009. The #100th ranked team according to FIFA will be making their 7th appearance in the Gold Cup. The Grenadiers are coming off a 1-2 defeat to Chile in a friendly last June 7th but they are the soccer betting favorites in this particular contest.
This is Marc Collat’s 40-man provisional squad:
- Goalkeepers: Josue Duverger, Jodelky Floreal, Luis Valendi Odelus, Johny Placide, Isaac Rouaud
- Defenders: Ricardo Ade, Djimy Alexis, Carlens Arcus, Alex Junior Christian, Jems Geffrard, Wilde-Donald Guerrier, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mechack Jerome, Denso Ulysse
- Midfielders: Bryan Alceus, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Bicou Bissainthe, Brian Chevreuil, Dutherson Clerveaux, Zachary Herivaux, Bryan Labissiere, Kevin Lafrance, Jerry Marven, Soni Mustivar, Jhonny Parima, Steven Saba
- Forwards: Herve Bazile, Mikael Cantave, Fredler Christophe, Ronaldo Damus, Jonel Desire, Derrick Etienne, Christiano Francois, Charles Herold Jr, Benji Michel, Duckens Nazon, Leverton Pierre, Frantzdy Pierrot, Jimmy-Shammar Sanon, Richelor Sprangers
Bermuda enters this match having won four out of their last six matches across all competitions. Since losing 1-3 to Aruba in September 2018, Cuba was the only opponent that Bermuda wasn’t able to defeat. Bermuda forced a 2-2 tie with Cuba on February 26th and then lost 0-5 two days later in the second of two friendlies between the teams. Bermuda blasted Sint Maarten 12-0, beat El Salvador 1-0, trounced the Dominican Republic 3-1 and then won over Guyana last week.
Zeiko Lewis of the Charleston Battery in the USL Championship led Bermuda in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifying with a total of four goals scored. The 25-year old from Spanish Point, Bermuda played US College Football at Boston College and has made appearances for Bermuda’s U-17 and U-20 national teams. Lewis earned his first cap for the Senior team in 2011 and has represented Bermuda in a total of five FIFA World Cup qualification tournaments. He has made a total of 18 appearances and scored 8 goals for Bermuda.
On the other hand, Haiti has won two out of their last five matches heading to the Gold Cup. Haiti beat Nicaragua 2-0 in November 2018 and then conquered Cuba 2-1 last March. They lost to El Salvador twice and with the same score of 1-0, in November 2018 and just last June 3. In their most recent tune-up game, defending Copa America champions Chile.
Haiti is led by forward Duckens Nazon who led the 2019 CONCACAF Nations qualifying tournament with a total of six goals. The 25-year old French-born Haitian currently plays for Sint-Truiden of the Belgian Pro League. Nazon earned his first cap for Haiti in 2014 and has made a total of 29 appearances with15 goals for the Grenadiers. Nazon also played for Haiti’s U-20 football team in 2013.
After winning the CONCACAF Nations qualifiers, there has been a lot of pressure on Haiti to deliver in the Gold Cup. The Grenadiers are also making their first Gold Cup appearance since 2015. However, their opening match pits them against the newcomers in Bermuda who are ranked 75 spots lower than then in the FIFA rankings and 10 spots lower than them in the CONCACAF rankings.
When you take a look at their line-ups, most of Bermuda’s team members play club football domestically whereas Haiti has more players who play abroad or who have more experience playing internationally. And when you have a tournament like the Gold Cup, international experience is just as important as skill.
I like how Bermuda’s football has improved over the years but I think Haiti has too much for them in terms of skill and experience. With Duckens Nazon leading the offense and Mechack Jerome on the defense, I’m picking Haiti to beat Bermuda on 6/16/19. Prediction: Bermuda