By Aluta News
Aug 2, 2023
On a history-making day at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Jamaica have become just the third CONCACAF nation — and the first from the Caribbean — to reach the Round of 16.
This was off the back of an outstanding defensive display as they ended Brazil’s campaign with a scoreless draw in Melbourne.
The Reggae Girls had their backs to the wall for a large part of the contest.
But they remain, along with Switzerland and Japan, one of just three teams yet to concede a goal at Australia & New Zealand 2023.
With Jamaica knowing that a draw would secure progression and Brazil likely to need a win, the pattern of this contest was established early on.
The South American side oddly wearing blue against an opponent in yellow, enjoyed the bulk of possession but struggled to break down a well-organised Reggae Girls side.
Brazil pushed and probed, holding a 59 per cent share of the ball at the break.
But outside of a 39th minute Tamires effort that was easily handled down low by Rebecca Spencer, there was almost nothing of note inside the first hour.
The longer the contest wore on the more frustrated Brazil became, and the more assured was Jamaica’s defensive resolve.
With star forward Khadija Shaw struggling with injury, the Reggae Girls created very little going forward but such was their work at the back that that mattered little.
Legendary Brazil forward Marta started and was aiming to become the first player either male or female to score in six World Cups.
But her night, and possibly her Women’s World Cup career, ended in the 81st minute as Jamaica survived a few nervy final moments to secure their place in history.
The result meant Jamaica have yet to concede a single goal at Australia and New Zealand 2023, having conceded 12 at their only previous appearance four years ago.