Fitting send-off

Fitting send-off

France-bound Jamaica defeat Panama 3-1 in farewell match

Observer staff reporter

Monday, May 20, 2019

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Jamaica's Reggae Girlz produced a top-notch performance to defeat Panama by 3-1 in a highly entertaining send-off contest at the National Stadium yesterday.

The display was nothing like their tense third-place playoff meeting at the Concacaf Women's Championship in October last year as the Reggae Girlz, eager to put on a show for the local fans, asserted their authority in fine style.

Khadija “Bunny” Shaw was again on point for the Girlz with a brace in the 29th and 49th minutes, with substitute Shakira Duncan (79th) getting the other.

Captain Natalia Mills got the consolation for the Central Americans in the 64th minute.

The Jamaicans, spurred on by the large home support, started spiritedly and were dominant in possession, playing a high-press attacking game which pinned down the Panamanians in their territory for most of the first half.

As expected, the Reggae Girlz signalled intentions with a few early chances, but nothing to really trouble the much-talked about Yenith Bailey in goal for Panama.

The nippy Trudi Carter, who has been out of action since October with a knee injury, showed signs of rust in the sixth minute when she was allowed time and space on goal from a Mireya Grey pass but muffed her effort, which was comfortably collected by Bailey.

Carter, the AS Roma attacker, was again at it in the 14th minute, picking a defender's pocket before charging towards goal, but her shot was blocked by the advancing Bailey.

Panama showed signs of life in the 20th minute when Kara Riley dazzled a few defenders before releasing a right-footed effort towards goal, but goalkeeper Sydney Schneider, diving to her right, did well to deny the attacker.

The Reggae Girlz responded soon after with a good passage of possesion which ended with Dominique Bond-Flasza's powerful left-footed effort just shaving the crossbar.

Bailey, diving low and full stretch to her left, was again at her best to parry Shaw's effort from the top of the 18-yard box in the 26th.

Riley again came to the fore for Panama with her deflected shot sailing ominously towards goal, but Schneider, using all 5ft 11in of her frame, pulled down the ball just in time.

However, Shaw and the Reggae Girlz would not be denied a minute later when the powerful striker fired home with aplomb after her teammates had a number of bites at the cherry.

The scoreline remained unchanged at the break, but the Jamaicans pushed further ahead four minutes after the resumption when Shaw arrived at the far post to squeeze in a low cross from Olufolasade Adamolekun.

Panama pulled one back four minutes past the hour mark courtesy of captain Mills, who fired into an empty net after a defensive mix-up involving substitute 'keeper Nicole McClure.

But another substitute, Duncan, spared the goaltender's blushes when she hooked up well with Shaw in a tidy one-two combination to fire home from close range.

Teams: Jamaica — Sydney Schneider (Nicole McClure 46th), Konya Plummer, Dominique Bond-Flasza (Chanel Hudson-Marks 86th), Deneisha Blackwood, Allyson Swaby, Marlo Sweatman, Laura Jackson (Chantelle Swaby 46th), Olufolasade Adamolekun (Shakira Duncan 69th), Khadija Shaw, Mireya Grey (Ashleigh Shim 86th), Trudi Carter (Toriana Patterson 60th)

Subs not used: Sashana Campbell, Christina Chang, Jadyn Matthews, Chris-Ann Chambers, Madiya Harriott, Chyanne Dennis

Booked: None

Panama — Yenith Bailey, Hilary Jaen, Maria Murilo, Katherine Castillo, Yomira Pinzon, Aldrith Quintero, Laurie Bastista (Maria Guevera 76th), Karla Riley (Angela Evans 76th), Marta Cox (Kenia Rangel 46th), Natalia Mills, Erika Hernandez (Lineth Cedena 46th)

Subs not used: Sasha Fabrega, Rebeca Espinosa, Maryorie Perez, Ana Rodriquez, Yasli Atencio

Booked: None

Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)

Assistant referees: Princess Brown (JAM), Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)

Fourth Official: Cardella Samuels (JAM)

Match Commissary: Marline Brown (JAM)

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