Haiti coach Nicolas Delepine on Thursday said their eye-opening performance against England at the Women’s World Cup will go to waste if they do not back it up when they meet China.
The Haitians were hugely impressive on their World Cup debut against the European champions in Brisbane on Saturday, dangerous on the counter-attack while restricting Sarina Wiegman’s side to only a 1-0 victory.
Praise rolled in afterwards for a team ranked 53rd in the world, who went close to an equaliser, with Wiegman calling them “unpredictable, very transitional”.
Delepine said it was heartening, but would mean little unless they can perform to the same level against China in Adelaide on Friday.
“We were very happy after the England game because we received a lot of compliments from other countries,” said the experienced Frenchman.
“But the message I want to say is that it will only count if we face China in the same way.
“We have to be credible and show the world the work we have put in and perform at the best level possible.”
“Les Grenadieres” need a result to keep their hopes of unlikely progression to the knockout phase from Group D alive.
If they lose, and Denmark win or draw against England, their tournament will be over.
Similarly, the 14th-ranked China will be eliminated with a defeat, coupled with England winning or drawing against Denmark.
“For us, everything is possible,” said Delepine. “We lost against England but we put up a good performance, it has given us good confidence against China who are a very good team.
“China has strong players, quality throughout. They have a well established game that they execute well,” he added. “We need to work on our technique and tactics.”
They head into the game without key defender Jennyfer Limage after a devastating knee injury against England, but buoyed by the performance of teenage attacking midfielder Melchie Dumornay, who mesmerised the crowd with her touch and ingenuity.