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US equalizes in stoppage time

Posted by Monique Walker, Globe Staff  July 11, 2009 10:08 PM

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By David Beard, Globe Staff

FINAL: US 2, HAITI 2 Stuart Holden came back to score in the final moments, salvaging a tie for the heavily favored Americans against an inspired and energetic Haitian squad. The tie gives the United States the first place in its group in the regional CONCACAF soccer competition. The team advances next weekend to the quarterfinals of the competition's Gold Cup, held in Philadelphia.

INJURY TIME Equalized! Stuart Holden sent a shot into the upper-right of the net, beyond the outstretched arms of Jean Dominique Zephirin. It's a big night for Holden, who hit the post on one shot and assisted on the other US goal. US 2, Haiti 2.

MINUTE 88 In Haiti, people borrow Brazil's "Ole, Ole Ole Ole'' chant. The people identify with the Brazilians and root for them in World Cup action. The chant is sounding now.

MINUTE 86 Charlie Davies had an amazing chest and a shot that looked like a sure equalizer. But defender Pierre Richard Bruny got in the way for a terrific save for Haiti. Not much time left. Haiti substitutes Markorel Sampeur for Leonel Saint Preaux.

MINUTE 80 Don't tug on that shirt! Kyle Beckerman of US squad yellow-carded, apparently for pulling on jersey of Haiti's Leonel Saint Preaux.

MINUTE 79 Haitian substitution: Abel Thermeus replaces Fabrice Noel.

MINUTE 76Last US substitution: Brian Ching, the Houston Dynamo, is subbed in for Colin Clark as the American squad looks for more attacking options.

MINUTE 75 Fifteen minutes and change left in regulation, and underdog Haiti still leading. Sam Cronin just sent a 20-yard-and-change shot just high and wide right. No equalizer ... yet.

MINUTE 69 Charlie Davies is already contributing, sending a left-footer just wide left. Moments earlier, a terrific cross from Colin Clark found Stuart Holden, whose header just missed. The US is knock, knock, knocking...

MINUTE 63 Double substitution -- including some of the fastest legs in the game -- for the United States. Former collegiate track star Charlie Davies replaces Kenny Cooper, and Kyle Beckerman of Real Salt Lake steps in for Santino Quaranta. Davies, a standout in the Cinderella run of the US squad in the Confederation Cup in South Africa, is moving up from the Danish league to France's top league this fall, with Sochaux. Will the tempo of the already-fast game speed up?

MINUTE 49 Joyeux for the Haitian contingent at Gillette. Mones Chery pounds a strike from beyond the 18-yard mark to the upper-left corner of the net, landing in side netting and prompting an utter look of disgust from US keeper Luis Ramos. There's a charge in the air, and drumming, though not from The Fort. It's underdog Haiti 2, US 1.

MINUTE 46 Out of the locker room, and into a tie game. Sirin Vaniel bounced a header in to score for Haiti, and we're up for a frenetic second half.

FIRST-HALF INJURY TIME Haiti had its best shot to score in the closing seconds of the first half. A brilliant cross and a flick to Sirin Vaniel led to one shot to the lower left of the goal, which bounced back to him and he shot again. Robles stopped both shots. The heart-stopping play emphasized the best and worst of the Haitian squad so far: an ability to break away; an inability to finish it off. At the half, US 1, Haiti 0.

MINUTE 45 Holden corner kick to Davy Arnaud, header goes just over the bar. Two minutes extra time this half.

MINUTE 32 Michael Parkhurst is yellow-carded for contact on Sirin Vaniel, who fell to the ground. A resulting free kick on the edge of the 18-yard line went wide left. Score still US 1, Haiti 0.

MINUTE 30 This game delivered a double jolt within seconds. First, Stuart Holden hit the top crossbar with a bullet; it just bounced down outside the goal line. Then Haiti's Fabrice Noel pounded a shot that US keeper Luis Robles batted up but not out, forcing him to move back and swat it again a moment before it crossed the line.

MINUTE 27 Davy Arnaud is yellow-carded for pulling down Haiti's James Marcelin. The resulting free kick set up one of Haiti's few shots on goal.

MINUTE 22 Even down its usual stars -- no Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, or Oguchi Onyewu, for example -- the US squad is dominating play against a heavy-on-heart Haitian team. Jay Heaps is hustling all over the field to the joy of hometown fans, and keeper Luis Robles -- in from the German leagues -- rarely has been tested.

MINUTE 6 Davy Arnaud, who missed today's MSL opener between the Revolution and his usual Kansas City Wizards, scores for the United States on an assist from Stuart Holden. It's US 1, Haiti 0.

PREGAME We're at Gillette Stadium for Game 2 of a triple-bill of soccer today, this with the United States men's national squad against Haiti. The US team features Revolution stalwart Jay Heaps and two players from the MSL squad in today to face New England, the Wizards' Davy Arnaud and Jimmy Conrad, who is captaining the Americans. Other familiar names on coach Bob Bradley's US squad include Michael Parkhurst, the Rhode Island native who anchored the Revs' defense for years. The substitution squad includes Charlie Davies and Brian Ching. The match is among the finals of the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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