1st Half: In the early stages of the match, the US looked dominant. Arnaud, in only his 4th international appearance, buried a very early goal to give the US the early lead. The goal really belonged to Cronin and Holden though. Cronin took it from Haiti in midfield and dished to Holden who perfectly slotted the ball on to Arnaud’s foot. Brilliant.
Haiti had lots of chances in the 1st 45 minutes though. In fact, Robles played pretty well to keep the US in the sheet clean department. Late in the half, Stu unleashed a beautiful shot that clanged off the cross bar and almost bounced in, but less than a minute later, Haiti almost scored. All in all, the US had the lead, but not the momentum.
2nd Half: While the 1st half result was sweet, the second half opened like a nightmare. Within 5 minutes, Haiti had scored twice. On the first, Heaps was badly beaten, Parkhurst gave up on the play, and Robles just flat out looked flat-footed. The next goal was again due to Heaps, but at least it was earned and not an unforced error. It was ugly early.
The US then took control and tried to notch the equalizer. While they couldn’t find it during regular time, despite some great chances, Stu Holden notched a very, very late extra time goal for the tie. Holden truly was the Man of the Match, and he is deserving of the accolades he will receive due to the game. I also think he is deserving of a 2010 roster spot.
No one else really proved much to Bradley during this match. Sure, the match meant nothing as this tourney goes, but it meant a ton to the men who took the pitch in an attempt to prove that they belong on their national team’s squad at the 2010 World Cup. While only Holden (and maybe Arnaud) helped their chances – all in all – Bradley’s boys got another decent result and the US has advanced in a tourney yet again. I, for one, could get used to saying that.