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17309: (Hermantin)Sun-Sentinel-Loss hurts Haiti's Olympic hopes (fwd)



From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Loss hurts Haiti's Olympic hopes



By Jeff Rusnak
Special Correspondent

November 17, 2003

MIAMI  Haiti's long shot chance of playing in the 2004 Olympics got even
longer Sunday night at the Orange Bowl.

Playing before a crowd of 18,280 that was weighted heavily in its favor,
Haiti's under-23 team couldn't overcome an early goal in a 1-0 loss to
Honduras in the first game of a two-leg Olympic qualifying series.

The goal came in the fourth minute from Honduras forward Emil Martinez as a
number of fans were still filing into their seats. Haiti spent the better
part of the next 86 minutes in the Honduras end, but wasn't able to turn the
constant pressure into a tying goal.

The second game of the CONCACAF qualifier will be played Wednesday in Ceiba,
Honduras. Honduras will advance with a tie or win. Haiti must win by a 2-0
score to play in the final eight-team qualifying phase set for Feb. 2-12 in
Mexico City. Two teams from CONCACAF will play in the 2004 Olympics in
Greece next August.

Haitian fans poured into the OB hoping for a bit of magic from a team that
has showed some promise of late. They were silenced quickly, however, after
a series of neat passes by Honduras around the Haiti penalty area culminated
in Martinez's goal. Martinez found an alley to shoot through from 15 yards
after juking Haiti's central defense out of position.

Haiti controlled play from then on, earning two first half corner kicks that
produced headers by defender Jean-Jaques Pierre that were wide of the
target. Jean Michel Beaucicot squandered the best chance in the 30th minute
when he shot into the side netting from six yards.

Three minutes later, Peguero Jean-Philipe went down in the Honduras penalty
area on contact with defender Victor Bernardez, but a Haitian plea for a
penalty kick went unheeded.

Note: Haiti's national team will begin training at the Lauderhill Sports
Complex this week. Coach Fernando Clavijo said friendly matches are close to
being finalized against Paraguay and a Brazil select team comprised of
veteran players. Both matches would be played in South Florida.

JAMAICA 2, GUATEMALA 0: Two goals from striker Luton Shelton carried Jamaica
to a 2-0 shutout of Guatemala in an Under-23 Olympic qualifying match in
Kingston, Jamaica.
Copyright  2003, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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