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Job done! Reggae Girlz Mexico bound after winning top-of-the-table clash

Job done!<br>Reggae Girlz Mexico bound after winning top-of-the-table clash

Posted  82 Views updated 6 months ago

PHASE ONE of Jamaica’s mission to the 2023 Women’s World Cup is complete.

The Reggae Girlz closed out the first round of World Cup qualifying in attacking fashion, dispatching the Dominican Republic 5-1 in their Group C finale last night at Sabina Park.

Khadija Shaw led the way with a brace in the 79th and 93rd minutes, while goals from Jody Brown in the 15th, Trudi Carter in the 40th and Tiffany Cameron in the 60th ensured that they will be in the final round in Mexico, with a chance to qualify for back-to-back World Cups. Cathrynn Gonzales scored the lone goal for the visitors in the 24th.

Head coach Vin Blaine made one change to the team that thrashed the Cayman Islands 9-0 on Saturday with Tiffany Cameron starting in place of Paige Bailey-Gayle. With a sizeable crowd on hand at Sabina Park, the Reggae Girlz proceeded to take the fight to the Dominican Republic, who had no other path to the final round but a win. Although Jamaica only needed a draw to advance thanks to their superior goal difference, the intent to leave nothing to chance was clear.

From as early as the seventh minute there were warning signs for the visitors as Carter fired a low shot that may not have tested the goalkeeper but was a prelude to what was to come.

Jamaica broke through in the 15th minute when Spencer’s long goal kick found Carter, who headed the delivery into the path of Brown. The wily attacker then carved for herself a goalscoring opportunity. The shot was deflected by goalkeeper Odaliana Gomez but she could only watch as it still trickled into the net. The Sabina Park crowd erupted.

VISITOR’S GOAL

Nine minutes after Jamaica were rewarded for their early dominance, the crowd at Sabina was stunned into silence. Gonzalez’s long-range effort gave goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer no chance as it nestled into the top corner to restore parity and give the visitors life.

That goal was the start of relentless pressure from the home team as almost from the restart, Shaw unleashed a long-range effort of her own that forced a diving save from Gomez.

They came close to retaking the lead in the 37th minute when Tiffany Cameron was put through on goal thanks to some great interplay between her and Shaw but her low drive was parried away by Gomez.

The visitors would not give in to the relentless attacks until the 40th minute when a loose ball in the box found the feet of Carter, who fired a close-range shot to ease the nerves at Sabina Park.

After the break, Jamaica made the push to cushion their slim lead and Brown and Shaw were constantly combining. The end product was just not there to make it count. That end product was not far away though, as on the hour mark, Shaw managed to speed down the left-hand side to deliver a cross meant for Carter. Her failure to latch on to the low cross was fortuitous for Cameron, who made space and fired assuredly to give the home team a two-goal cushion.

Shaw, who was playing well but not getting many looks at goal, ensured that she would not leave the home fans wanting. Eleven minutes from time she made space for herself in the box and fired past Gomez for her 50th international goal, which was celebrated gleefully by her and the supporters. Shaw would add her 51st with the last attack of the game.

Jamaica finished with 22 shots, 15 of them on target while the Dominican Republic had six shots with only one on targetJamaica: Rebecca Spencer, Tiernny Wiltshire, Chantelle Swaby (Courtney Douglas 77th minute) , Allyson Swaby, Sashana Campbell, Marlo Sweatman (Vyan Sampson 85th minute), Chinyelu Asher (Kiki Van Zanten 85th minute), Jody Brown, Trudi Carter (Kayla McCoy 73rd minute), Tiffany Cameron (Paige Bailey Gayle 85th), Khadija Shaw (c)

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