Reggae Girlz claim first World Cup win to close on last 16

Reggae Girlz claim first World Cup win to close on last 16

PERTH, Australia, (AFP) – Jamaica won a Women's World Cup match for the first time with a deserved 1-0 victory over debutants Panama on Saturday to close on a place in the last 16.

Skipper Allyson Swaby headed in from a corner early in the second half to give Jamaica their first victory at a World Cup at the fifth attempt.

Having held France to a 0-0 draw in their opening match, the Reggae Girlz sit second in Group F with four points from two games, level on points with the French.

Jamaica face Brazil, beaten 2-1 by France on Saturday, on Wednesday knowing they only need a point to claim a landmark spot in the last 16.

It comes against the backdrop of rows with the Jamaican football federation over a lack of support for the team and unpaid expenses.

Panama, who are making their debut appearance at the World Cup, are out.

Jamaica were on top for much of the contest in front of nearly 16,000 spectators in Perth.

But with their star striker Khadija Shaw absent, having been sent off late on in the stalemate with France, they lacked a cutting edge up front at times.

In her glaring absence, midfielder Drew Spence appeared determined to grab the game by the scruff of the neck all by herself.

The London-born Tottenham Hotspur player, who previously made a couple of appearances for England, ran the show at times.

She was also a threat going forward and came closest to scoring in the first period when on the stroke of half-time her direct free-kick pinged back off the bar.

Jamaica's pressure paid off in the 56th minute when Swaby rose highest from a corner to glance the ball past goalkeeper Yenith Bailey.

It was only their second World Cup goal ever and put them on their way to their first win, having lost all three matches in their previous appearance, in 2019.

Jamaica thought they had a penalty at the death, but it was turned down after a VAR review.


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