Jamaica bow out of Under-20 Women’s Concacaf Championships with win
JAMAICA WILL have to wait for another opportunity to qualify for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup but they left the Under-20 Concacaf Women’s Championship final round on a winning note with their best performance of the tournament.
The young Reggae Girlz dispatched Panama 4-1 in their final group game yesterday at the Estadio Felix Sanchez in the Dominican Republic thanks to goals from Natoya Atkinson in the 16th minute, Davia Richards in the 32nd, Maya Raghunandanan in the 37th, and Amelia van Zanten in the 74th. Meredith Rosas got Panama’s lone goal in the 79th minute.
The game was some measure of vengeance for the girls who were ousted by Panama 3-0 in their last meeting in 2022 at the round-of-16 stage of the tournament.
After tough defeats against Canada and the United States where they only registered three shots on target combined, Jamaica fared better in displaying their attacking efficiency.
The first 15 minutes saw Jamaica show their strength and got their reward when Atkinson finished from close range after Destiny Powell’s curling shot hit the post.
Jamaica would double their lead after the half-hour mark converting from the spot as they were awarded a penalty for a foul inside the area.
Panama fell victim to a failed clearance in the 37th minute which fell to the feet of Raghunandanan whose one-time effort found the bottom corner for Jamaica to soar to a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
The Girlz would continue the offensive pressure in the second half and after Jamaica were awarded another penalty in the 73rd minute, van Zanten dispatched her spot kick for an unassailable 4-0 lead.
However, the Panamanians would get a consolation goal in the 79th minute when Powell committed a foul in the box and Rosas converted her spot kick. Panama would not muster enough to trouble the Jamaicans further. Jamaica finished with 20 shots with 12 on target while Panama had 10 shots with five on target.
Jamaica finished third in the table with three points behind Canada and the United States who had already booked their places to the semifinals of the tournament.