French Guiana, Haiti soccer, Duckens Nazon,
Haiti and French Guiana players walk onto the field at Edmar-Lamar Stadium before their encounter on March 23, 2024 in French Guiana. Photo credit: Haitian Football Federation

Overview:

Haiti's Head Coach Sébastien Migné began his tenure with Les Grenadiers on a less than impressive note, as the team settled for a 1-1 draw against underdogs French Guiana in a friendly match.

CAP-HAITIEN— In his first match in charge of the Haitian men’s national Soccer team, new Head Coach Sébastien Migné could only guide Les Grenadiers to a 1-1 draw away against French Guiana on Saturday at Edmar-Lamar Stadium.

Fan-favorite striker Duckens Nazon opened the scoring for Haiti from the penalty spot in the 36th minute. However, French Guiana's Number 10 Ludovic Bal equalized with a penalty kick of his own in the 76th minute.

The friendly clash marked Haiti's return to action after a five-month hiatus. The match served as preparation for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers in the Confederation of North, Central and Caribbean Federations (CONCACAF), which will begin for Les Grenadiers in June.

Migné, a Frenchman, replaced Spanish coach Gabriel Calderón Pellegrino following a disappointing spell in which Pellegrino secured just one win from six matches. Haiti tied with Cuba 0-0 last September and drew 1-1 with Suriname in October under Pellegrino.

However, little appeared to change under new coach Migné, as the team still struggled to either create or take advantage of clear chances in the final third against lesser opposition.

Migné's prior coaching record raises questions

The new Grenadiers’ head coach resigned as Cameroon's assistant coach in February 2022 after a Round of 16 exit from the Africa Cup of Nations. Before that, South African club Marumo Gallants sacked Migné in October 2021 for alleged verbal abuse against the team’s technical director Harris Choeu. However, according to the South African online newspaper IOL, the Gallants were winless in five consecutive matches before Migné’s sacking.

IOL reported that some soccer fans in South Africa jokingly referred to Migné as a “plumber” before he started coaching the Gallants.

Migné surprisingly called six players from the D1 Haitian League for his first game with Haiti, despite the league restarting just two weeks ago after being inactive for almost three years. However, these players were unable to make the trip due to flight cancellations. Additionally, five other players called by Migné from outside of Haiti, including captain Ricardo Adé, did not join the team either due to administrative reasons.

But four other players made their debuts for Les Grenadiers, including defender Jean Kevin Duverne, who played well in defense, forward Franz Pierrot, midfielder Belmar Joseph and midfielder Cedric Toussaint.

During the match, center-back Garven-Michée Metusala was injured in the first half and had to be substituted. The team is still to provide details on the nature of his injury.

In the second half, midfielder Danley Jean-Jacques and an opposing Guianan player were both shown red cards after a confrontation in the 74th minute.

As of this writing, Haiti does not have any other warm-up games scheduled before their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign begins against Saint Lucia on June 5.

Email me at [email protected]
Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for Go West Now. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining Go West Now in 2019.

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