May 23, 2023 _ (Reuters) – Haiti will rely on team spirit and their battling qualities when they make their first appearance at the upcoming Women’s World Cup, captain Nerilia Mondesir said.
Haiti booked their place at the July 20-Aug. 20 tournament in Australia and New Zealand via the final qualifying playoffs and will face European champions England, Asian champions China and Denmark in Group D.
They will be the first Haiti team to play in a senior World Cup since their men’s side competed at the 1974 edition in Germany.
Mondesir said the players were familiar with each other’s strengths and abilities, with many of them having played together at the Under-20 World Cup in 2018.
“If I have to pass to a team mate, I know who’s the quickest, or if I want to hold onto the ball, I know who’s the most technically sound. These little details make a huge difference when you’re playing at the top level,” Mondesir told FIFA+.
“Our greatest strength is our cohesiveness as a team. We trust in ourselves; we do everything together. Even when we lose, we fight for every blade of grass.
“We’re battlers. That’s probably our best quality. We battle to the end even when our opponents are stronger than us on paper.”
Haiti are among the eight teams making their World Cup debut at this year’s edition, the first to feature 32 teams.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)