With a quarter-hour to play and his side trailing by two goals at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, Donald Guerrier scored one of the most famous goals in Haitian football history.
The 24-year-old, who plays his club football in Haiti for America des Cayes, burst through the Spanish defense (Gerard Pique, in particular, should have done better), rounded goalkeeper Pepe Reina and slipped the ball into the back of the net to cut the Grenadier’s deficit in half.
In the end, the two-goal lead Spain had built in the opening 20 minutes proved slightly too much for Haiti, but after the restart the CONCACAF minnows gave as good as they got against the world and European champions in a match arranged to raise money for the Phoenix Project—a football initiative designed following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation.
Spain, for their part, looked well off the pace in the Miami heat as the afternoon wore on, although their heads might well have been in Brazil—where they’ll be contesting the Confederations Cup later this month—or even on their summer holidays, which won’t come until early July.
Santi Cazorla’s eighth-minute opener looked to have put Spain well on their way to a lopsided victory.
With Juan Mata, Jesus Navas and Cesc Fabregas all involved in the buildup, it was the sort of goal you’d typically expect from Spain. The Arsenal attacker did well to send his daisy-cutter inside the far post from 24 yards to give his side the lead.
Eleven minutes later, the advantage was doubled thanks to Fabregas.
Once again, Mata was at the centre of the play, crossing exquisitely for the Barcelona midfielder—who had made an instinctive run into the box—to head powerfully past goalkeeper Frandy Montrevil, who was otherwise solid on the day.
Spain will now travel to New York City for a Tuesday friendly against the Republic of Ireland, while Haiti will face Italy the same day in Brazil.
The Haitians will be involved in next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they will play group stage matches against Honduras, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago.