MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. – Haiti scored one of the major upsets of the 2013 Gold Cup tournament with their 2-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago at Sun Life Stadium, pushing Les Grenadiers closer to a quarterfinal berth on Friday night.
The three points from the win temporarily lifted the Haitians to the top of Group B, though Honduras played El Salvador later Friday. Haiti lost to Honduras on Sunday.
''Although the country has suffered, Haiti plays football with joy,'' Haiti coach Israel Blake Cantero said.
Haiti's speed on both wings resulted in repeated runs on goal in the first of two-matches Friday at Sun Life Stadium. Maurice's goal 16 minutes into the match gave Haiti a 1-0 lead as his shot near the 6-yard box beat Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan Williams.
''That first goal gave us a tremendous lift,'' Maurice said through a translator. ''In the previous (Gold Cup) game, I didn't play as well because of an injury. Thankfully, I was able to score early and we were able to play with more confidence afterwards.''
Maurice's first goal thrilled the pro-Haiti crowd that attended Friday's first game. Among those was Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who visited the Haiti locker room and congratulated Maurice after the game.
Maurice scored his second goal in the 52nd minute, when he retrieved a loose ball off Yves Desmaret's crossing pass and converted a shot into an open net.
Densil Theobald's header bounced off the left post in the 46th for Trinidad and Tobago's best scoring opportunity of the game.
Haiti overtook Trinidad and Tobago in the group with three points. Trinidad and Tobago, which tied El Salvador in its first group match, remained with one point.
''We go into the game as a team and we didn't get the result as a team,'' Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart said.