Califf's tally late in stoppage time salvages 1-1 draw with Haiti.
MIAMI, Fla. (Saturday, March 13, 2004) -- The United States men have yet to win in 2004, but at least they have a dramatic draw to their credit.
After being badly outplayed for much of the evening, reserve defender Danny Califf rescued the U.S. with his first international goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time for a 1-1 draw with foul-prone Haiti before 8,714 at the Orange Bowl.
The U.S. is 0-1-2 this year and 5-6-4 all-time against Haiti. "I thought Haiti was the better team tonight. They simply outfought us and played better," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "I applaud our group that played the final 15 minutes for fighting back and getting an equalizer."
Buoyed by a boisterous pro-Haitian crowd, the visitors were whistled for 32 fouls while the Americans committed 15. "There are no excuses. We were technically poor and our fitness was poor," Arena said. "We are fortunate that we have until June (when World Cup qualifying starts) to get our act together. Human nature likes to find a comfort zone and we have guys in a comfort zone. All the credit goes to Haiti. The Haitian team brought a commitment to the game and outfought us."
Trailing 1-0, the U.S. made three substitutions -- Califf, midfielder Richard Mulrooney and forward Pat Noonan -- just before the 75th-minute mark. Almost immediately, the American attack picked up the pace. Striker Jovan Kirovski, using one of his first touches of the game, fired a wicked blast that goalkeeper Fenelon Gabard gamely pushed away for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, striker Ante Razov's glancing header forced Gabard into a quick reaction save.
In the fourth of five minutes of injury time, the U.S. sent a free kick through a crowd in the penalty area to the left post. Defender Carlos Bocanegra pushed the ball across goal-mouth to a wide-open Califf, who directed the equalizer into the net with his chest.
"I take some pride in that it helped the team tie the game," said Califf, who replaced Eddie Pope. "It is an exciting feeling."
Haiti, which outshot the U.S. 16-10, 7-5 on net, had the majority of chances on the night and was able to apply consistent pressure. During the first half, both teams had opportunities on goal, but came up empty.
The Americans had the first good look at goal in the second minute when striker Landon Donovan got on the end of a through ball from defender Tony Sanneh, only to see his shot from the top of the box easily snagged by Fenelon Gabard. A few minutes later, midfielder Bobby Convey's free kick from about 25 yards out was heading for the lower right corner, but Gabard again came up with the save.
In the latter parts of the first half, Haiti began exposing holes in the U.S. midfield and nearly grabbed the lead in the 38th minute when midfielder and captain Bruny Pierre-Richard headed home a corner kick. Referee Peter Prendergast disallowed the goal, citing forward Jean Phillipe Peguero for a foul on Pope.
Just before the break, striker John Wolyniec, making his first career start for the U.S., headed a cross toward the center of the box. Defender Cory Gibbs rose over his mark and beat Gabard with a header to the far left post, but Haiti defender Wasdon Coriolan headed the ball away.
The U.S. made two changes at half, replacing Jonny Walker with Kevin Hartman in goal, and substituting Chris Albright for Sanneh on defense. Sanneh, who has not played for his club, FC Nurnberg of Germany since December 7, 2002 because of a nerve problem in his back, had not appeared for the U.S. since his stellar performance in the 2002 World Cup.
Haiti applied pressure as soon as the second half commenced, earning three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes. Striker Mones Chery found himself free for two consecutive scoring chances, one a blistering shot headed for the lower left corner that Hartman parried away.
In the 69th minute, Coriolan slipped a pass through the American back line to midfielder Alexander Boucicot who beat Hartman to the lower left corner of the net from 16 yards for a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. next travels to face Poland on March 31 in Plock, a 1:30 p.m. (ET) start to be televised on ESPN2.
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying begins for the Americans June 13 against the winner of the home-and-home series between Grenada and Guyana, probably Grenada which opened the two-match series with a 5-0 triumph. The U.S. opens the qualifying series at home with the return leg June 20 on the road.
United States 1, Haiti 1
Lineups: Jonny Walker (Kevin Hartman 46), Tony Sanneh (Chris Albright 46), Eddie Pope - captain (Dan Califf 75), Carlos Bocanegra, Cory Gibbs, Steve Ralston (Pat Noonan 75), Bobby Convey, Chris Armas (Ante Razov 66), DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan (Richard Mulrooney 74), John Wolyniec (Jovan Kirovski, 83). Haiti - Fenelon Gabard, Roosvelt Desir, Gilles Frantz, Wasdon Coriolan, Jean Phillipe Peguero (Mac Herold Gracien), Johnny Descollines, Alexander Boucicot, Bruny Pierre-Richard (captain), Jemps Dorcelus (Romulos Turlien, 60), David Sancius, Mones Chery.
Shots: United States 10, Jamaica 16. Saves: United States 6, Jamaica 3. Corner kicks: United States 8, Haiti 6. Fouls: United States 15, Haiti 32. Offside: United States 1, Haiti 4. Yellow card cautions: United States - Ralston 39; Haiti - Coriolan 32, Gabard 82.
Referee: Peter Prendergast (Jamaica). Assistant referees: Anthony Garwood (Jamaica), Michael Mitchell (Jamaica). Attendance: 8,714 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. Weather: Warm, 70 degrees.