Jamaica's Reggae Girlz lost 2-1 to Paraguay at the Kingston’s National Stadium on Sunday in what was the second of two international friendlies. The Reggae Girlz won the first encounter against their South American opponents in Montego Bay on Thursday, November 10.

First-half goals from Celsa Sandaoval and Ramona Martinez in the 16th and 35th minutes, respectively gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half-time before Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.

Glaring errors by the Jamaica’s gifted the Paraguayans their two goals against a wasteful Jamaican team that missed several opportunities to score.

Deneisha Blackwood’s errant back pass was seized upon by Sandaoval, who beat an advancing Rebecca Spencer in the Jamaican goal before shooting into the bottom right hand corner.

The second 19 minutes later resulted in a poor pass from Havana Solaun, which gave the Paraguayan forwards to spread the ball wide before a cross found Martinez free inside the box to smash home from close range.

Head Coach Lorne Donaldson said he was not surprised by the slow start. He said he saw it coming given that the girls were not sharp during their warm-ups and it showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game.

He explained, however, that the match was not all about trying to win as there were several players that the coaching staff wanted to take a look at before finalizing the squad for the World Cup still nine months away.

“Our camp is a little bit different from Paraguay. We are still looking at stuff. We are still looking at players, so obviously we want to win but it is not going to be at all cost for this camp because we have to give some players a look, so stuff is going to be a little bit off and that was evident in the first 20 minutes,” he said.

Among the things that we “off” was the Reggae Girlz shooting. Chances fell to Drew Spence and Shaw in the first half but were either blocked missed entirely.

Spence’s 13th minute shot was parried by goalkeeper Christine Ricalde while Shaw dragged one past the far post just two minutes later.

Siobhan Wilson’s cross fell to Paige Bailey-Paige, whose shot from inside the box was charged down by a defender. Allyson Swaby also had a shot from two yards blocked by Ricalde.

Three changes made at the resumption of play resulted in Jamaica being more organized and stable defensively. Vyan Sampson replaced an ineffective Solaun and Atlanta Primus came on to replace Kayla McCoy in midfield while fullback Tiernney Wiltshire replaced Malikae Dayes.

Bailey-Gayle and Wilson were substituted for wingers Cheyna Matthews and Rachel Jones in the 59th minute, the latter making an immediate impact.

Jones’ driving run down the left flank and resulting cross led to the handled ball from which a penalty was awarded allowing Jamaica back into the game.

The changes, Donaldson said, were a direct result of the team’s inability to control the game and limit the number of turnovers, which invariably but the defence under pressure.

“If you see, when we came out in the second half there were two changes in the midfield because we couldn’t control the game, we couldn’t anything. We were passing the ball to the next team, so that’s a part of saying this would never work or this is not going to work,” he said while lamenting the poor finishing that ultimately cost the team.

“Should we have knocked some goals in, maybe we should have but such is football. To us, it’s preparation and the end product is what we are looking at.”

Donaldson said this was the last window when the coaching staff would be looking at new players. He indicated that by the next camp they should have the 30 players from which the final squad will be selected for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz forward Khadijah Shaw and midfielder Drew Spence have been named to the Concacaf W Championship Best XI for the recently concluded tournament.

The duo was outstanding for the Jamaica national team who finished third overall at the event behind winners the United States and second place Canada.

The typically outstanding Shaw, the Jamaica national team’s all-time leading scorer, managed to net a tournament-leading three goals, which added up for a very productive 12 overall.

The introduction of Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Spence was a major boost for the Jamaicans as she racked up a tournament-leading 15 pass interceptions an assist and a goal.

Also joining Shaw and Spence in the W Championship Best XI was Haiti livewire Melchie Dumornay who proved a slippery customer for opposing defenses to handle time and time again.  The Caribbean players were selected as part of a 3-4-3 formation.  The rest of the team was comprised of players from the United States and Canada.

 

Full squad

GK Kailen Sheridan, Canada 

DF Becky Sauerbrunn, United States 

DF Vanessa Gilles, Canada 

DF Naomi Girma, United States

MF Melchie Dumornay, Haiti 

MF Rose Lavelle, United States 

MF Jessie Fleming, Canada

MF Drew Spence, Jamaica

FW Julia Grosso, Canada 

FW Alex Morgan, United States

FW Khadija Shaw, Jamaica

 

Jamaica punched their ticket to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand in commanding fashion with a 4-0 win over Haiti in their final match of Group A of the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship on Monday night at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey.

The result means Jamaica have qualified for a second straight Women’s World Cup, making it the second time in history that a Caribbean team have qualified for a Women’s World Cup.

Haiti have finished in third place and will advance to next February’s 10-team 2023 Women’s World Cup Playoff in New Zealand.

The blistering pace at the start made for a back-and-forth affair and Haiti’s Melchie Dumornay almost scored the opener with a dazzling solo run from her own half that ended with her shot ringing off the post.

An opening goal was bound to come and Jamaica were the ones to break the deadlock as some nice work from Khadija Shaw set up Trudi Carter, whose right-footed shot beat Haiti GK Nahomie Ambroise to make it 1-0 to the Reggae Girlz in the 26th minute.

Haiti went right to work to try to find an equalizer and Roselord Borgella had it all there to get it in the 52' off a Jamaica turnover, but instead swung her shot wide of the post.

Haiti continued to push forward in search of a goal, but it left space behind for the Jamaican attack and Shaw was happy to take advantage of it by firing in a right-footed shot to double the Jamaica lead to 2-0 in the 58'.

Nevertheless, Haiti kept pushing and almost pulled a goal back in the 63’ through a blazing effort from Dumornay in the 63’, only to see Jamaica GK Rebecca Spencer parry the ball onto the post and eventually out of play.

However, the night belonged to Shaw and Jamaica and after a Haiti handball in the area, the Manchester City striker stepped up and fired in her third goal of the CWC from the penalty spot for a 3-0 lead in the 70'.

They then capped off their magical night in the 79' with a well-placed header from Drew Spence off a free-kick to complete the winning 4-0 scoreline, earning their first-ever CWC win against Haiti in three attempts.

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