SPORTS

Jamaica Makes History By Beating Panama For First Women’s World Cup Win

Jamaica won their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup match as Allyson Swaby’s goal gave them victory over Panama in Perth. The defender headed in a corner from Trudi Carter in the 56th minute to seal a historic win for the Reggae Girlz, who had drawn 0-0 with France in their opening game.

Jamaica dominated the match, creating several chances and hitting the crossbar twice. Panama, who had lost 4-0 to Brazil in their first match, rarely threatened and could not find an equalizer. Jamaica goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer made four saves to keep a clean sheet.

The win lifted Jamaica to the top of Group F, level on points with France but ahead on goal difference. The Reggae Girlz are now one step closer to reaching the knockout stage for the first time in their history, after losing all their group games on their World Cup debut in 2019.

Jamaica will face Brazil in their final group game on Wednesday, while Panama will take on France in Sydney. Jamaica will have captain and leading scorer Khadija Shaw back in the lineup, after she missed the Panama game due to a red card suspension.

Jamaica’s remarkable journey to the World Cup started in 2018, when they became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the tournament. They beat Cuba and Panama in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, with Shaw scoring four goals in the competition.

The Reggae Girlz are coached by Hubert Busby Jr., a former Canada international who was born in London to Jamaican parents. He took over from Hue Menzies, who led the team to the 2019 World Cup, but resigned in 2020 due to a dispute with the Jamaican Football Federation.

Busby has instilled a positive and attacking style of play in his team, which features several players who were born or raised abroad but have Jamaican heritage. Allyson Swaby and her sister Chantelle, who both play for Roma in Italy, are among the dual nationals who have chosen to represent Jamaica.

The support of Cedella Marley, the daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley has also boosted Jamaica’s success.

She is the team’s official ambassador and has helped raise funds and awareness for the women’s football program in Jamaica.

Jamaica hopes to continue making history and inspiring future generations of female footballers in their country and beyond.

As Busby said before the tournament: “We want to show that we belong here and we can compete with anyone.”

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

 Edited by Jesus Chan

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