Like fellow Haitian Joseph Gaetjens
, Emmanuel Sanon
scored a legendary
goal in World Cup history. But unlike Gaetjens, whose goal gave the USA a 1-0 victory over England at the 1950 World Cup, the goal by Sanon, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 Thursday
at his home in Florida, did not hold up.
Sanon scored in the first half of Haiti's World Cup debut against Italy at the 1974 finals in West Germany, snapping Dino Zoff
's scoreless streak of 1,142 minutes and giving Haiti an unlikely lead going into halftime. The heavily favored Italians came back to win, 3-1.
Sanon took a through ball, beat the Italian backline, rounded Zoff and slotted the ball into an empty net. Sanon later scored against Argentina in the same tournament -- the only World Cup
in which Haiti has participated.
"Everybody was asking who would beat Dino
Zoff," Sanon said. "The newspapers mentioned European and South American players, but nobody thought a Haitian could do it. That upset me because I knew I could do it."
Sanon later played in Belgium and the NASL for the San Diego Sockers.
He then embarked on a long coaching career in the United States, working in California, Texas and Florida. He
spent almost 10 seasons with the Midland Blast Soccer Club in Texas.
Sanon also coached the Haiti national team (1999-2000).