Sports

US outclass Reggae Girlz 6-0

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE CONCACAF
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
In USA

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Dallas , USA — Despite being outclassed 0-6 by defending champions United States in their Concacaf Women's Championships semi-final on Sunday, Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz are by no means disheartened.

The Girlz were always faced with an uphill task of confirming a historic World Cup berth against the world champions in their first of three shots at qualification, and as expected the United States were far superior.

Tobin Heath (second and 29th) and Alex Morgan (53rd and 84th) both grabbed two goals, while captain Megan Rapinoe (15th) and Julie Ertz (21st) got the others, ensuring the United States remain on course to defend their title in France.

The result meant that the Jamaicans will have to look to tomorrow's third-place play-off against Panama, who went down 0-7 to Canada in the first semi-final, to book their spot.

Should they fail against Panama the Reggae Girlz will get their final shot at qualification to the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup in a play-off against Argentina in home-and-away fixtures in November.

Head Coach Hue Menzies has accepted that fact.

“We came here to play five games and we are still on track, so we put ourselves in a position where if we get a result on Wednesday then we are going to France. We know that playing against the top team in the world was always going to be tough and we took some lessons from the game as we move forward,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer.

With some 7,535 fans in attendance at Toyota Stadium on a cold and rainy night in Frisco, Texas, the Reggae Girlz may have been consumed by nerves and found themselves 0-5 down in a little over half-hour, as they took a hammering in the first half.

It took less than two minutes for the United States to open the scoring when Heath fired in an inviting rebound, after Jamaica's custodian Sydney Schneider got down well to block a shot from Lindsey Horan.

Rapinoe then picked up a delightful long pass from the back by Abby Dahlkemper and pushed past right-back Dominique Bond-Flasza before expertly firing into the top corner of the goal.

By then, the Reggae Girlz' resistance was broken and the United States assisted themselves to three more goals in a 17-minute time span, the first of which came when Ertz rose above defenders to head home a Crystal Dunn cross.

Heath completed her brace on the stroke of the half-hour mark when she fired home from close range after a pass from Horan eluded Jamaica's left back Lauren Silver.

Morgan then converted at the near post from Rapinoe's free kick to make it a handful at the break.

The Reggae Girlz produced a more disciplined performance in the second half as they strung together a few good passes, as United States gradually took their foot off the gas.

As such the Jamaicans created an opening in the 71st minute when 16-year-old Jody Brown went on the break, beating one defender but couldn't get the shot off ahead of the other.

United States then completed the victory when Morgan converted from the 12-yard spot after earlier being brought down inside the area by Allyson Swaby.

Jamaica have now been outscored 22-0 by the United States in three meetings at this level, and it could have been more had it not been for the usual resolute glove work from Schneider.

“These games are an education at times and we have to see the good things that we have done and also learn from the mistakes that we have made.

“We made some adjustments at half-time and were more disciplined in the second half, but there are lot of things that we have to work on, especially for our young players,” Menzies noted.

Teams: Jamaica — Sydney Schneider, Konya Plummer, Allyson Swaby, Dominique Bond-Flasza, Lauren Silver (Shanise Foster 72nd), Jadyn Matthews, Marlo Sweatman, Chinyelu Asher, Deneisha Blackwood, Khadija Shaw (Chantelle Swaby 46th), Jody Brown (Giselle Washington 84th)

Subs not used: Nicole McClure, Sashana Campbell, Trudi Carter, Christina Chang, Toriana Patterson, Ashleigh Shim

Booked: None

USA — Alyssa Naeher, Becky Saueebrunn, Kelly O'Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, Julie Ertz (Morgan Brian 46th), Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe (Christen Press 46th), Rose Lavelle (Emily Sonnett 58th), Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn

Subs not used: Ashlyn Harris, Samantha Mewis, Carli Lloyd, Mallory Pugh, Hailie Mace, Casey Short

Booked: None

Referee: Francia Maria Gonzalez (MEX)

Assistant referees: Enedina Caudillo Gomez (MEX); Chantal Renee Boudreau (CAN)

Fourth official: Lucila Venegas Montes (MEX)

Match Commissary: Yolanda Camacho (CRC)

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