A close game at halftime was blown open after the break, as four goals helped Haiti International beat Caracas F.C. 6-1.
BY SANTOS A. PEREZ
Miami Herald Writer
Local Haitian soccer fans who thought their 2012 Copa Latina championship hopes ended after five-time champion Seleccion Haiti’s loss in the first-round still have reason for optimism.
Haiti International remains in contention for the Copa Latina title after a 6-1 rout of Caracas F.C. in a quarterfinal match Saturday night at Ted Hendricks Stadium.
Dumel Decius and Ary Jaccys each scored twice to lead Haiti to its first semifinal appearance. Haiti turned a close match at halftime into a lopsided win with four second-half goals.
“It has been eight long years for us,” Haiti coach Joe Black said. “We’ve tried year after year and we couldn’t succeed. This year I think we have the team to go all the way.”
Decius scored his second goal with a minute remaining in the first half to give Haiti a 2-1 lead. Bitielo Jean-Jacques’ pass from the left wing found an open Decius near the far post. Decius converted a shot that landed inside the right post.
“I had to move to the forward position because of injuries today, so the guys counted on me,” said Decius, who usually plays midfield. “When [Caracas] tied the game, I had to keep the team’s confidence up. That second goal meant so much to us.”
Goalkeeper Franeto Wiplin preserved a 2-1 halftime lead after his diving deflection off Pablo Rivera’s indirect free kick during stoppage time.
“Games in this tournament have so many turns, so I just made sure that everybody stayed calm,” Decius said. “We’re capable of doing what we did in the second half. We just remained focused and played together as a team.”
Jaccys scored his first goal in the 52nd minute. Evans Prophete’s deep pass from the right wing found Jaccys near the far post. Jaccys beat Caracas goalkeeper Fernando Amondarain to the ball and tapped in a shot from six yards.
Samuel Altejacques’ header off Prophete’s corner kick made it 4-1 in the 61st minute. Jaccys scored his second goal with an uncontested shot from 20 yards seven minutes later.
Prophete scored Haiti’s last goal in the 82nd minute.
Haiti took a 1-0 lead on Decius’ first goal in the seventh minute. Decius dribbled 15 yards and blasted a shot that eluded Amondarain.
Caracas tied it 1-1 on Ruben Logiacono’s penalty kick conversion in the 35th minute. Haiti’s Exume Simson fouled Caracas’ Oscar Gil inside the penalty area, resulting on Logiacomo’s kick.
“All the guys are so motivated to win,” Black said. “Throughout the week, we keep communicating. We stay in touch. It’s been a great journey so far.”
Haiti will face Seleccion Argentina in the semifinals next Friday. Argentina defeated Red Force, 2-1, in Saturday’s second quarterfinal.
Marcos Nizarala’s successful seventh foul free kick in the 37th minute broke a 1-1 tie. Red Force had a chance to tie it in the 85th minute, but Argentina goalkeeper Gustavo Alvarez deflected Daniel Gomez’s seventh foul free kick.
Argentina struck first on Eseban Jorge’s goal seven minutes into the match. Red Force tied it on Heber Hernandez’s equalizer 13 minutes later.
The second set of Copa Latina quarterfinals will be played Sunday afternoon. Last year’s runner-up Blue Star Honduras will face Real Honduras at 5, followed immediately by the match between three-time tournament champion Honduras 5 Stars and Limonense Costa Rica.
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