Jody's joy!


Jody's joy!

U-20 Girlz progress after 4-1 win over El Salvador

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Jamaica 4

Brown (2nd, 11th), Murray (58th), Parker (82nd)

El Salvador 1

Rodriguez (45+2)

Jamaica's young Reggae Girlz have advanced to the next round of the Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championship following a comfortable 4-1 win over El Salvador in their second Group E contest in the Dominican Republic yesterday.

Captain Jody Brown led the way with a brace in the second and 11th minutes at Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal to take her tally to three goals so far in the campaign. Local-based Lacey-Ann Murray (58th) and Chantelle Parker (82nd) got the other goals for the Reggae Girlz.

Mara Rodriguez got El Salvador's consolation from the penalty spot in the 45th+2 minutes.

With the win, Jamaica assumed pole position, on four points, with a slightly better goal difference over Canada, who also inched up to four points after playing out a goalless stalemate against Guatemala in the group's second game yesterday.

Having so far scored eight goals, while conceding five across two games, the Jamaicans have a plus-three goal difference, compared to Canada's plus-two, while Guatemala occupy third position on two points. El Salvador are yet to gain a point.

Still, the Girlz are yet to produce a complete performance, as yesterday's presentation again lacked quality in certain areas. Head Coach Xavier Gilbert and his staff will be hoping to correct those flaws ahead of their final group fixture against Canada tomorrow.

The Jamaicans were expected to work overtime to breach what was initially thought to be defensively disciplined El Salvador team, but the young Reggae Girlz wasted little time to make their intentions known.

With just over a minute on the clock, a pass from Parker opened up El Salvador's backline, allowing Brown acres of space inside the final third to calmly slot through the legs of the advancing Paola De Paz in goal for the Central Americans.

It became 2-0 seven minutes later when an intended clearance by De Paz was deflected by Parker into the path of Brown, who caught the custodian off her line and expertly chipped into an empty net.

Brown and her team continued to assert their dominance in possession and created a few openings to further extend the lead, but failed to capitalise and, like they did against Guatemala, allowed El Salvador to grow in confidence.

El Salvador fired a few shots from distance, one of which came back off the crossbar after leaving Yaquelyn Jovel's boots in the 45th minute.

They eventually pulled one back on the stroke of half- time when Gabrielle Gayle took down Samaria Gomez in the danger area. Rodriguez stepped up to convert from the 12-yard spot to make it 2-1 at the break.

The Jamaicans came out strong on the resumption and after knocking on the door they inevitably restored their two-goal advantage 13 minutes in, through Murray, who arrived at the far post to poke home a rebound from Marlee Fray's initial effort.

From there, the encounter got a little scrappy, with both teams being overly aggressive in their challenges, and it wasn't until the latter stages of the game that the players regained some composure.

El Salvador reverted to their long-range strikes and it took a diving effort from Jamaica's custodian Ella Dennis to deny Rodriguez in the 80th minute.

Two minutes later, the young Reggae Girlz capped off the win when substitute Sydoney Clarke picked out Parker on a counter-attacking play and the striker made no mistake from close range.

Brown could have added another on the break, but her tame effort was charged down by the advancing De Paz on the stroke of full-time.

Meanwhile, 2018 beaten finalists United States followed up their 9-0 beating of Cuba with a 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic in the Group C top-of-the-table clash. The pointless Cuba and Honduras were scheduled to meet in a late fixture.

Defending champions Mexico, on three points, are second on goal difference behind Guyana in Group D, with Nicaragua and Puerto Rico pointless.

Haiti, on three points, lead Group F, also on goal difference over Trinidad and Tobago, while Cayman Islands and St Kitts and Nevis are without a point.

After round-robin play, the top-three teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage, joining the four qualifiers — Bermuda, St Lucia, Grenada, and Barbados.

The March 8 finalists and the third-place play-off winner will qualify for the World Cup to be hosted by Costa Rica and Panama.

This will be the first-ever co-hosting of a Fifa youth tournament, and the second-ever co-hosting of a Fifa tournament after the 2002 Fifa World Cup Finals.

Teams: Jamaica — Ella Dennis, Lauren Reid, Nevillegail Able (Gabrielle Scarlett 71st), Gabrielle Gayle, Malia Atkins, Lacey-Ann Murray (Alexia Spencer 81st), Chantelle Parker, Peyton McNamara, Jody Brown, Marlee Fray (Sydoney Clarke 62nd), Jaden Roberts

Subs not used: Tayleur Little, Milan Dewkinandan, Tacia Austin, Sherice Clarke, Ciara Whitely, Jordyn Bartholomew

Booked: McNamara (25th), Brown (39th), Able (65th)

El Salvador — Paola De Paz, Elaily Hernandez, Alexa Escobar, Gloria Gonzalez, Jessica Ortiz, Andrea Amaya (Jennifer Sosa 60th), Jennifer Castellanos (Diana Molina 64th), Mara Rodriguez, Samaria Gomez, Yoselyn Lopez, Yaquelyn Jovel (Alexandra Molina 70th)

Subs not used: Gilma Martir, Monica Mancia, Evelin Panilla, Tatiana Soriano, Jaqueline Portillo, Angelica Avelar

Booked: Ortiz (39th), Gonzalez (90th)

Referee: Astrid Gramajo (Guatemala)

Assistant referees: Iris Vail (Guatemala); Jennifer Gamer (USA)

Fourth official: Suleimy Linares (Cuba)

Match Commissary: Georgina Zabaneh (Belize)

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