Guardado fit for Mexico, starts with Dos Santos in midfield vs. Haiti

Ronald Martinez
The veteran midfielder captains El Tri after having his status in doubt because of a knock

Andres Guardado is starting for the Mexico national team in its semifinal against Haiti. 

The veteran captain was in doubt for this game, with manager Tata Martino saying the interior midfielder was dealing with a knock picked up in the second game of the tournament - an injury that nearly led Martino to rest him in the quarterfinal against Costa Rica

However, he started and will do so again. So too will Jonathan dos Santos, who came out of the quarterfinal complaining of a cramp but said after the match that he'd be fit for tonight's contest despite only three days between the encounters. In between, Edson Alvarez once again plays as the holding midfielder.  

There are two changes to the squad that topped the Ticos in a penalty shootout to move the final four. Veteran center back Hector Moreno makes his first start of the tournament after suffering an injury in a pre-competition friendly and getting his first minutes against Costa Rica in extra time Saturday. He takes the place of Nestor Araujo. Up top, Uriel Antuna is replaced with Roberto Alvarado.  

That means the fullbacks, Jesus Gallardo on the left and Luis "Chaka" Rodrigez on the right, are the same as they have been the entire tournament. Center forward Raul Jimenez also starts for the fifth consecutive game. Rodolfo Pizarro will begin on the left wing and float inside to create chances as well. 

Haiti also is sticking with the core of its team as well, with the three-pronged attack of Duckens Nazon, Herve Bazile and Frantzdy Pierrot starting and Derrick Etienne likely to come off the bench. Jhony Placide starts and captains the team from the goalkeeper box once again, with Andrew Jean Baptiste, Alex Christian, Jems Geffrad and Carlens Arcus in a back four ahead of him. Wilde-donald Guerrier, the hero of Haiti's 3-2 comeback victory over Canada, is in the midfield along with Steeven Saba and Bryan Alecus. 

Article continues below

Mexico XI Haiti

Mexico XI: Ochoa; Rodriguez, Salcedo, Moreno, Gallardo; Dos Santos, Alvarez, Guardado; Alvarado, Jimenez, Pizarro

Haiti XI: Placide; Arcus, Jean Baptiste, Christian, Geffrad; Guerrier, Saba, Alceus; Bazile, Pierrot, Nazon