Reggae Girlz kick off Olympic qualifiers with loss to Mexico

By Sports Desk January 30, 2020

The Jamaica Reggae Girlz kicked off their bid to qualify for the Olympics in disappointing fashion with a 1-0 loss to Mexico in the Women’s Qualifying Championship at HEB Park in Texas on Wednesday.

With only two teams allowed to qualify from the region, the loss was an early blow for the team looking to follow-up on their maiden appearance at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. 

The Jamaicans began the match the brighter of the two teams, but it was the Mexicans who seemed determined to make up for missing out on qualification for the last World Cup.

Despite dominant spells of possession, it was a set-piece that saw the Mexicans eventually take the lead.  In the 36th minute, after Kiana Palacios laid off for Renae Cuéllar in the area, she smartly steered home to finish beyond Sydney Schneider.  The Jamaicans had previously only narrowly missed out on taking the lead after talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw hit the crossbar in the 32nd minute from a tight angle.

The Jamaicans continued to hunt for the equalizer in the second half but were denied by quality saves from Mexican goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.  Group B continues play on Saturday, February 1 with Mexico playing Saint Kitts and Nevis in the early match at HEB Park.

 Saint Kitts and Nevis lost to Canada 11-0 earlier on Wednesday. Jamaica plays Canada in the later game in what’s now a must-win match for the Reggae Girlz.

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    ROUND-UP

    - Contracted at Manchester City until 2021, Sergio Aguero may yet stay at the Etihad Stadium a little longer. The Mirror reports City have not ruled out giving the star forward, 32, a one-year extension.

    - With Neymar repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona, it seems the LaLiga giants are wanting to distance themselves from the Paris Saint-Germain star. Marca says Barca are keen to see the rumours of a potential return for Neymar stop.

    - Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona apparently have interest in two players from Tottenham. The Daily Star says Barca want Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. However, it reports Spurs will reject all offers for Sessegnon this close season.

    - Philippe Coutinho's future remains unclear. Mundo Deportivo reports the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona until the end of the season, will not decide his future until after the Champions League next month.

    - Plenty of talk continues to surround Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is coming out of contract at the Premier League club next year. The Daily Star reports the forward will sign a contract extension with Arsenal – if no other club makes an official approach.

    - After just two goals in 25 games for Real Madrid, Luka Jovic seems set for an exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Leicester City, Milan and Napoli are all considering moves for the forward.

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