Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz have secured their spot for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Reggae Girlz defeating Panama 4-2 on penalties in their third-place playoff match at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship at the Toyota Stadium in Texas on Wednesday.
The team created history by becoming the first Caribbean team to reach the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sixteen year-old Jody Brown thought she provided an extra-time winner to secure the historic qualification but for the Jamaicans were pegged back for second tie in the contest when Lineth Cedeno lifted a shot over Jamaican goalkeeper Sydney Schneider in the 115th minute to send both teams to the spot.
Deneisha Blackwood, Ashleigh Shim, Christina Chang and Dominique Bond-Flasza all scored for the Jamaicans while Yomira Rios and Erika Hernandez scored for Panama with Cedeno and Kenia Villarreal saw their efforts saved by goalkeeper Nicole McClure, who was subbed in seconds before the penalty shoot-out.
The historic qualification to the 2019 FIFA World Cup follows the success of the men’s squad, which participated in the World Cup for the first time in France 1998.
Jamaica, ranked No. 64 in the world, re-started their women’s national team program in 2014 after a six-year hiatus, boosted by the support of Bob Marley’s oldest daughter, Cedella Marley.