Haiti reaches the Women’s World Cup for the first time

AUCKLAND, February 22 – Haiti qualified for the Women’s World Cup soccer for the first time in its history with a 2-1 victory over Chile on Wednesday in a playoff tournament in New Zealand.

They join England, Denmark and China in Group D of the World Cup, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Haiti, ranked 55th in the world, will face European champions England in their opening game in Brisbane on July 22.

Teenage midfielder Melchie Dumornay, who plays for French club Stade de Reims, gave Haiti the lead just before halftime in Auckland.

There was drama in the final stages. Haiti had a penalty saved as the 90th minute approached when captain Nerilia Mondesir saw her feeble penalty deflected with the palm of her hand.

However, the 19-year-old Dumornay doubled Haiti’s lead when she calmly edged past Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler in stoppage time. Substitute María José Rojas scored a consolation for Chile in death. The match was the first of three finals in the play-off tournament to decide the final places in the World Cup.

Portugal plays Cameroon later on Wednesday in Hamilton. The winners will join reigning world champions the United States, 2019 finalists the Netherlands and Vietnam in Group E of the World Cup.

The final qualifying spot will be decided on Thursday when Paraguay faces Panama. The winners will face France, Jamaica and Brazil in Group

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