Ah Big Side!
It was the Jamaicans who opened the score sheet with a 14th-minute goal from Shaw after she headed a lofted pass from 16-year-old Jody Brown past the Panamanian goalkeeper in their third-place playoff match at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship at the Toyota Stadium in Texas yesterday.
After consistent pressure from their opponents, Jamaica conceded a goal in the 74th minute when Natalia Mills left her marker and slotted a diagonal pass, in the bottom corner of the Jamaican goal.
Jody Brown returned the favour and put Jamaica ahead in extra time when she calmly placed her shot assisted by Shim at Panama’s near post but was sent into a penalty shoot-out after Lineth Cedeno lifted a shot over Jamaican goalkeeper to level the game at 2-2 in the 115th minute.
The heroics of last-minute substitute goalkeeper Nicole McClure denied Cedeno and Kenia Villareal, while Deniesha Blackwood, Ashleigh Shim, Christina Chang and Dominique Bond-Flasza all netted for the Jamaicans.
“I am delighted….I am over the moon”, said Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Rickets, in a report by the Observer.
He went on to say, “This achievement will certainly augur well for women’s football in Jamaica and it must serve as a motivation as we move forward….this must be an inspiration to all young women in Jamaica”.
“I am so happy right now that I can hardly find the words…this is a victory for the many years we fought with limited resources…but we thank Cedella Marley and her foundation, who would go get the resources for us”, said Chairman of the JFF Women’s Committee Elaine Walker-Brown when questioned by the Observer.
This victory sets Jamaica as the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
Panama will seek to advance to the FIFA Women’s World Cup when they encounter Argentina in November.