Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Unlike Zaire and Australia, Haiti caused a little tremor as soon as they stepped on the pitch: the first half against Italy ended 1-0 for Haiti. It was enourmous surprise – Italy kept clean sheet for more than 2 years and came to the World Cup as one of major candidates for the title. It turned out unknown Haiti was better.
Sanon (right) scores in the 46th minute, just before the final whistle. The Haitian ended the record run of Dino Zoff (back, on his knees), who did not allow a goal since September 1972. Thus, the record was set at 1142 minutes – it is still the longest clean sheet run, I think, but hardly comforting the Italians in June 1974.
In the second half the miracle ended – Italy scraped three goals and won 3-1. Back to normal…
Dino Zoff congratulates his executor Emmanuel Sanon after the match. The Haitian immediately got offers from European clubs.
No miracles in the second game – Poland easily thrashed Haiti 7-0, the second highest result in the tournament.
Henri Francillon gets the ball ahead of Andrzey Szarmach. His efforts did not prevent the Poles from scoring. At least the goalie attracted European professional clubs.
The third match registered third loss – 1-4 to Argentina, and Haiti was out, as predicted before the tournament. And just like before the beginning of the World Cup, they ended in the middle of the outsiders – did not get a point, like Australia, but were not hopeless squad like Zaire; did not get vast media attention, like darling Aussies, but did not provide outrageous news like Zaire either. Haiti exited quietly, as they arrived quietly, and few noticed that this team faired better than Australia and Zaire – Henri Francillon was signed on the spot by the West German 2nd Division club TSV 1860 Munchen and in the next years quite a few of his teammates went to play abroad – mostly to North American NASL. May be not great achievement, but still much better than the other outsiders – only one Australian was signed by European club and none from Zaire.