JA, Dom Rep through
Battle on for final berths today
Jamaica reached the knockout stage of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Under-20 Championship, edging the Dominican Republic 2-1 at the Anthony Spaulding Sport Complex on Wednesday.
The Dominican Republic also reached the knockout stage despite the loss, and will engage Group A winner Trinidad and Tobago at the same venue at 4:00 pm today, while two hours later Jamaica oppose Cuba, with the winners contesting the Championship title at the same venue on Sunday.
It was not a convincing performance by the Jamaicans, who had to toil somewhat from behind to beat the Spanish-speaking nation on the island of Hispaniola with goals from the consistent Kayla Gray in the 38th and Nicole Harris in the 47th.
This was after the Dominican Republic had stopped the breath of Jamaica momentarily in minute 25 on a counter-attack that saw captain Lissy Maria Sanchez Guzman's exploratory bouncing shot on goal eluding goalkeeper Taylor Grant, who had left her line a bit too soon.
The end result was seeing the ball entering an unmanned goal.
Despite the loss the Dominican Republic players could feel a sense of pride in their effort in restricting the more robust Jamaican players with some good defensive plays, including timely interceptions. Having taken the lead two minutes after the resumption, the air was rife with expectancy for Jamaica to go on, but it was only flattery to deceive, as they were unable to breach the visitors' defence, although making several promising forays into their opponents' territory without much response in their own.
A possible discontent in the Jamaican play was that they won their first game on a canter 11-0. Since then though they have probably looked less convincing, especially in front of goal, seeing that they are the favourites to win this tournament.
Nonetheless, the victory, in essence, was a good one, as it worked out as scripted with Trinidad and Tobago winners of Group A playing runners-up of Group B Dom Rep in one semi-final and Jamaica, winners of Group B facing runners-up of Group A Cuba in the other semi-final.