Danielle Etienne is a member of the Haitian national team that qualified for the Women’s World Cup. (Photo courtesy of Fordham University)
Haiti qualified for the Women’s World Cup for the first time after a 2-1 victory over Chile in the Group B final of the Australia and New Zealand playoff tournament on Wednesday.
Midfielder Danielle Etienne is a member of the squad, but did not play in the match. The 22-year-old Fordham University player is the daughter of former Haitian international forward Derrick Etienne and the sister of Atlanta United and Haitian international Derrick Etienne, Jr.
Melchie Dumornay finished with a brace, dashing Chilean hopes of a second successive appearance at the global finals.
This game ebbed and flowed throughout, with Haiti beginning the stronger before Chile took a grip and began threatening from some superbly delivered set pieces.
It was from one of these dead-ball situations that Daniela Zamora nearly put them into a 24th-minute lead, sliding in and poking a shot narrowly wide from Yessenia Lopez’s outswinging delivery.
Haiti had barely threated until Dumornay took matters into her own hands in first-half stoppage time.
She controlled a long punt forward on her chest in midfield and then followed that with a nifty bit of footwork, before exchanging passes with Roselord Borgella and bursting through in the left channel. Dumornay finished with an inch-perfect left-foot shot scooped beyond the helpless Christiane Endler, her soon-to-be team-mate, and into the top-right corner.
Chile responded well after the break and they nearly levelled through the most unexpected of sources when Dumornay got in a mix-up with goalkeeper Kerly Theus on a set piece. But just as it appeared that she would be on target for both teams, Haiti’s goalscorer’s blushes were saved by Batcheba Louis racing back to clear off the line.
The Caribbean hopefuls spurned a late chance to make sure of the win when Isidora Olave was penalized for a shirt-pull in the box following a VAR review. ndler dived low to her right to push away the penalty from Nerilia Mondesir.
Mondesir made amends for her penalty miss with a fine reverse pass for Dumornay to double her tally on 98 minutes and settle the outcome.