The Haiti Sports Federation spent two months prior to the ties improving the facilities and the pitch of the Parc Leconte, and arranged several trial matches to find a squad. The Cubans based their squad at Santiago de Cuba and also played several training games. In one of these the half-back Angel Gisleno of Juventud Asturiana was injured and was replaced by Manuel Villaverde "Bebo".
"Bebo" had originally been selected but his employers at the bank where he worked refused him the time off, his parents also objected worried about his career. But after some persuasive coaxing by the team officials he was finally released to travel.
There was concern that Hector Socorro also had an injury but he recovered in time, and some of the younger players parents had worries about the voyage, they were also placated.
Cuba initially protested about the selection of the American John Williams as referee. He was Sub-Manager of the National Bank of Haiti, and was not on the FIFA list of officials. A former resident in Haiti he had played in an occasional match, but did not appear to have any record of officiating any games. Cuba, after suggesting a couple of alternatives, eventually agreed to Williams' appointment and a Cuban cruise-line company gave him a free return ticket from New York.
On 26 January Cuba arrived at Port au Prince and the squads were finalised.
Haiti squad player pos club ESPER Edouard GK Racing GEBARA Emilio (born in Syria) GK Violette ST. FORT Robert DF Racing TOVAR Marcel DF Racing AUDANT Georges DF Violette BERROUET Charles DF Violette BERROUET Fritz MF Violette JEAN-JOSEPH Ludovic MF Garde Haiti SAVAIN Maurice MF Violette CHAMPAGNE Antoine MF Racing TOUREAU Artaud MF Violette SEGUIGNOL R. "Nene" FW Jeunesse Sportive Haitienne BEAUVOIR Franck FW Garde Haiti BAKER Pierre FW Racing ELIO Denis FW Violette DUTHIERS Max FW Garde Haiti WOELLEY Ernest Lamothe FW Racing Coach: BAKER Edouard Cuba squad player pos club AYRA Martinez, Juan José GK Centro Gallego GARCIA Antonio GK unattached EVELIO Morales Zequeira DF Olimpia "PANCHITO" Francisco Socorro Varela DF Centro Gallego GALCERAN Nougues Arturo MF Fortuna RODRIGUEZ Yanez, Angel MF Iberia "OCHOA" Casanova Napoles, Sergio MF Olimpia "BEB(IT)O" Manuel Villaverde Lopez MF Centro Gallego "ENRIQUITO" Enrique Ferrer Murla MF Juventud Asturiana HECTOR Socorro Varela FW Iberia MARIO Lopez Alfonso FW Olimpia SOTO Villegas, Salvador "Indio Buroy" [*] FW Fortuna "CHICHO" Esteban Echeverria Galan FW Fortuna MARTINEZ Garcia, Angel 'Cucuracha' FW Dolores Santiago de Cuba GOMEZ Rafael Ricardo DF Dolores Santiago de Cuba Coach: KATZER Karoly (HUN) [*] Soto was a Costa Rican; he was one of many foreign professionals in Cuba, whose number included the coach, Katzer. Match Details and Summaries 28.01.1934 HAITI - CUBA - 1:3 (0:1) Port-au-Prince. Parc Leconte. 6000 spectators. Ref.: John Williams (USA) GOALS : Mario López 21 penalty (0:1), Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", 60 (0:2), 64 (0:3), Robert Saint-Fort 85 penalty (1:3) HAITI: Edouard Esper, Robert Saint-Fort, Marcel Tovar, Georges Audant, Fritz Berrouet, Ludovic Jean Joseph, Antoine Champagne, Nene Seguignol, Franck Beauvoir, Max Duthiers, Pierre Baker CUBA: Juan Ayra, Francisco Socorro "Panchito", Angel Martínez, Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Sergio Ochoa, Enrique Ferrer, Héctor Socorro, Mario López, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Salvador Soto "'Indio Buroy" The opening exchanges of the first match showed that the Cubans were a class above the rudimentary Haitian team who were not helped when their captain Ludovic Jean Joseph injured his shoulder in a clash with Enriquito and had to leave the field early in the game. Despite some spirited play they could not compete and after 20 minutes Cuba were awarded a penalty when Tovar fouled Hector, and Mario - the best player on the field - duly netted. Bebito scored 15 minutes into the second half and added a third four minutes later. The Cubans relaxed but were still in control when Haiti, with 5 minutes left, in one of their rare attacks were awarded a penalty following a foul and Robert Saint-Fort shot past Ayra. But their was no comeback and Cuba saw the rest of the game out passing the ball to each other in total command. 01.02.1934 HAITI - CUBA - 1:1 (1:0) Port-au-Prince. Parc Leconte. 6000 spectators. Ref.: John Williams (USA) GOALS : Robert Saint-Fort 35 penalty (1:0), Héctor Socorro 87 (1:1) HAITI: Edouard Esper, Robert Saint-Fort, Marcel Tovar, Georges Audant, Fritz Berrouet, Maurice Savain, Antoine Champagne, Artaud Toureau, Franck Beauvoir, Denis Elio, Wooley Lamothe CUBA: Juan Ayra, Francisco Socorro "Panchito", Evelio Morales, Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Sergio Ochoa, Enrique Ferrer, Héctor Socorro, Mario López, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Salvador Soto "'Indio Buroy" The Cubans expected an easy ride and were a little casual but Haiti put up more spirited resistance to the technically superior visiting players, with Audant tightly marking Mario and urged on by the crowd they gave as good as they got. Ten minutes before the break they attacked and Ayra saved twice in quick succession from Champagne and Toureau, after the second save the ball fell to Beauvoir in a goalmouth melee, as he was about to shoot he was pushed by Rodríguez and the referee awarded a penalty and Saint-Fort - as in the first match - beat Ayra from the spot-kick. The Cubans woke up in the second half and put Haiti under pressure winning corner after corner. Esper was magnificent aided by Saint-Fort, Tovar and Audant they held out desperately but visably tired. Bebito had what looked like a good goal anulled for offside. With three minutes to go Enriquito, under pressure from Tovar crossed a high centre which looked like it was going out of play, but Mario managed to head the ball back into the area and Hector smashed in the equaliser. Haiti withstood constant pressure to hold onto the draw in the remaining few minutes. Some of the refereeing decisions confused the Cubans, one of whom pondered that perhaps the official had forgotten to wear his spectacles. 04.02.1934 HAITI - CUBA - 0:6 (0:2) Port-au-Prince. Parc Leconte. 5000 spectators. Ref.: John Williams (USA) GOALS : Mario López 2' (0:1), Hector 30' (0:2), Manuel Villaverde "Bebito" (0:3), Mario López (0:4), Manuel Villaverde "Bebito" 78' (0:5), Mario López 86' (0:6) HAITI: Edouard Esper, Robert Saint-Fort, Marcel Tovar, Georges Audant, Fritz Berrouet, Maurice Savain, Antoine Champagne, Nene Seguignol, Artaud Toureau, Franck Beauvoir, Denis Elio CUBA: Antonio Garcia, Francisco Socorro "Panchito", Evelio Morales, Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Sergio Ochoa, Héctor Socorro, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Mario López, Angel Martínez, Salvador Soto "'Buroy" The home team were quite optimistic going into the final game. The previous year the Dolores team (with Gomez and Martinez) had visited and after winning the first game, they drew the second and lost the final game, the Haitians were hoping for a similar conclusion. But the Cubans, shaken by the previous result, were more concentrated, after just two minutes Mario dived to head a brilliant goal from Bebito's cross/shot, which was talked about by the Haitians for decades later- they'd never seen anything like it before. The Cubans dominated the game with attack after attack, but Esper was again on top form, with Tovar and Berrouet also outstanding, profligate shooting and some contentious refereeing meant the Haitians were holding on. Eventually Hector scored a second, Bebito again with the assist - then Mario was denied again just before half-time by another dubious off-side decision by the referee. So the first half ended with the home side fortunate to trail by only two goals. Haiti started the second period brightly Beauvoir coming close with a couple of chances twice shooting over the bar. But then the Cubans regained control Bebito rounded Tovar and scored with a powerful shot, and two minutes later Mario thumped in a tremendous fourth. The Cubans were now in complete control, after some fine combination play Bebito fired in another bullet-like drive, Esper, wisely some said, just stood and watched. For the rest of the match the visitors were content to play keep ball passing around the midfield until finally Mario ran through to make it 6-0, his fourth goal in the match, and confirmed his status as man of the tournament. And so Cuba qualified for the next round, and Mexico.
Cuba squad player pos club AYRA Martinez, Juan José GK Centro Gallego GARCIA Antonio GK Juventud Asturiana EVELIO Morales Zequeira DF Olimpia "MAYARI" Francisco Morales Quintana DF Olimpia "PANCHITO" Francisco Socorro Varela DF Centro Gallego GALCERAN Nougues, Arturo MF Fortuna RODRIGUEZ Yanez, Angel MF Iberia "OCHOA" Casanova Napoles, Sergio MF Olimpia "BEB(IT)O" Manuel Villaverde Lopez MF Centro Gallego "ENRIQUITO" Enrique Ferrer Murla FW Juventud Asturiana HECTOR Socorro Varela FW Iberia MARIO Lopez Alfonso FW Olimpia SOTO Villegas Salvador –Indio Buroy FW Fortuna "NENO" Antero Antonio Valdes Mieres FW Iberia "CHICHO" Esteban Echeverria Galan FW Fortuna Coach: KATZER Karoly(HUN) Mexico squad player pos club RIESTRA Alfonso GK Asturias NAVARRO Rafael GK America ROSAS Manuel "Chaquetas" DF Atlante CAMARENA Lorenzo DF Necaxa GARZON Alfredo DF America LAVIADA Carlos DF Asturias AZPIRI Antonio DF Necaxa ROSAS Felipe "Diente" MF España AVILA Ignacio "Calavera" MF Necaxa ORTEGA Guillermo "Perro" MF Necaxa GUIRAN Rafael "Apipisca" MF Asturias ROSAS Jose "Pelon" MF America MEJÍA Dionisio "Nicho" FW Atlante DE LA FUENTE Luis "Pirata" FW España MARCOS Fernando FW España CARREÑO Juan "Trompito" FW Asturias SOTA Jorge FW Asturias RUVALCABA Jose "el siete" FW Necaxa GARCIA Vicente "Chamaco" FW Necaxa GOMEZ Felix "Oj(it)os" FW America ALONSO Manuel FW España MARQUEZ Manuel FW Atlante Coach: GARZA GUTIERREZ Rafael "Record" Match Details and Summaries 04.03.1934 MEXICO - CUBA - 3:2 (3:1) Mexico City. Parque Necaxa. 20000 spectators. Ref.: Edward Joseph Donaghy (USA) GOALS : Dionisio Mejía 12 (1:0), Dionisio Mejía 14 (2:0), Dionisio Mejía 16 (3:0), Mario López 40 (3:1), Mario López 63 (3:2) MEXICO: Alfonso Riestra, Antonio Azpiri, Lorenzo Camarena, Guillermo "Perro" Ortega, Ignacio Avila "Calavera", Felipe Rosas "Diente", Vicente García "Chamaco", Félix Gómez "Ojitos", Dionisio Mejía "Nicho", Juan Carreño "Trompito", José Rubalcaba CUBA: Juan Ayra, Francisco Morales "Mayari", Evelio Morales; Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Enrique Ferrer, Hector Socorro, Mario López, Antero Valdés "Neno", Salvador Soto "'Buroy" The Cuban team found the conditions difficult, after the sultry Tropical Carribean of Haiti the cold Mexican winter and high altitude affected them. However they started well and even had the ball in the net, but Enriquito was adjudged offside. Mejia put the home side in front with a powerful shot from outside the area after 12 minutes, and within the next four minutes he had completed a hattrick. The game was relatively equal in spite of the score and when Mario volleyed in Enriquito's low centre, the consensus was that it was deserved. In the second half both goalkeepers were called into action on several occasions as the game moved from end to end, after an hour's play Mario controlled Soto's cross on his chest and fired home his second goal. The Mexicans were better at speedy combination play opposed to the Cubans long ball style and had Man of the Match Ayra to thank for a good result and could have done better had Neno been more fortunate late on. 11.03.1934 MEXICO - CUBA - 5:0 (3:0) Mexico City. Parque Necaxa. 22000 spectators. Ref.: Edward Joseph Donaghy (USA) GOALS : Jorge Sota 24 (1:0), Dionisio Mejía 31 (2:0), Dionisio Mejía 40 (3:0), Felipe Rosas 72 (4:0), Dionisio Mejía 79 (5:0) Penalty missed: Juan Carreño (MEXICO) 50 (saved) MEXICO: Alfonso Riestra, Antonio Azpiri, Lorenzo Camarena, Guillermo "Perro" Ortega, Ignacio Avila "Calavera", Felipe Rosas "Diente", Jorge Sota, Félix Gómez "Ojitos", Dionisio Mejía "Nicho", Juan Carreño "Trompito", José Rubalcaba CUBA: Juan Ayra, Evelio Morales, Francisco Morales "Mayari", Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Luis Ochoa, Hector Socorro, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Mario López, Antero Valdés "Neno", Salvador Soto "'Buroy" Cuba were better prepared for the second encounter, but the extremely cold weather (the worst for 8 years) did not help them. Sota scored the first goal, followed by Mejia's headed second, then Mejia again with the third; they lost heart. The Mexican forwards were in complete control and made hard work for the visitor's dispirited defenders and Mayari panicked and punched a cross clear resulting in a penalty which goalkeeper Ayra saved brilliantly from Carreño. Two further goals for the home team meant they had won the series and a trophy, with another game to be played. After the match Mario, Cuba's captain, said "our feet were as cold as ice". 18.03.1934 MEXICO - CUBA - 4:1 (2:1) Mexico City. Parque España. 10000 spectators. Ref.: Edward Joseph Donaghy (USA) GOALS : Mario López 15 (0:1), Manuel Alonso 32 (1:1), José Rubalcaba 41 (2:1), Fernando Marcos 60 (3:1), Manuel Alonso 85 (4:1) MEXICO: Alfonso Riestra, Manuel Rosas "Chaquetas", Alfredo Garzón, Carlos Laviada, Rafael Guirán, José Rosas, Jorge Sota, Fernando Marcos, Manuel Alonso, Luis de la Fuente, José Rubalcaba CUBA: Juan Ayra, Evelio Morales, Antero Valdés "Neno", Arturo Galcerán, Angel Rodríguez, Luis Ochoa, Enrique Ferrer, Hector Socorro, Mario López, Manuel Villaverde "Bebito", Salvador Soto "'Buroy" The Mexicans already qualified gave some of their reserves a run out. The first half began equal and Mario scored with a free-kick from the edge of the area after quarter of an hour's play. Alonso equalised after Ayra's save from Laviada's bullet-like shot from 25 metre's dropped to him. The 'keeper was again unlucky when his punched clearance appeared to go out of play before Rubalcaba scored. The injuries to Evelio Morales (43') and Enrique Ferrer (73') meant Cuba ended the match with nine men. Ayra, applauded off by the home crowd, was again the best Cuban player saving time after time, but could do little to prevent the Mexicans scoring twice more.
Thanks to Thiago de Andrade, Mario Lara and Neil Morrison.
Sources included: newspapers: Le Nouvelliste (Haiti), Le Matin (Haiti), Diario Marina (Cuba), Jamaican Gleaner, Bohemia (Cuba); Mexico-Cuba (programme); 'Algo de Historia Balompie Cubano', 'Los Ases futbolismo Cubano', 'Le Football Haitien a travers les Ages', 'Libro Oro del Futbol Mexicano', 'Triunfos y Tristezas del Equipo Tricolor (Mexico), 'Mexico en las Mundiales'.
Prepared and maintained by Ken Knight for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Ken Knight
Last updated: 4 Nov 2021
(C) Copyright Ken Knight 2021
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.