Jamaica have beaten Panama to finish third in the North and Central American football confederation championship (CONCACAF). The result qualifies them for next summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
Jamaica advanced to the Women's World Cup by beating Panama in a penalty shootout in the match for third place in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on Wednesday. This makes the island nation the first team from the Caribbean to qualify for the Women's World Cup.
Popularly known as the Reggae Girlz, Jamaica got off to the better start in a match played in rainy conditions in Frisco Texas. A Khadija Shaw header gave Jamaica a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the match – an advantage that they would take into the break.
Panama came out more positive in the second half, but it wasn't until the 74th minute that they found an equalizer through their captain, Natalia Mills.
Tied after 90 minutes, the two sides went into extra time and again, it was Jamaica who took the lead – with Jody Brown getting the goal five minutes in. Substitute Lineth Cedeno pulled Panama level in the second half of extra time to send the contest into penalties.
In the shootout, Jamaica's substitute goalkeeper, Nicole McClure, turned out to be the hero, saving two shots as the Reggae Girlz booked their tickets for next summer's tournament in France.
pfd/ftm (dpa, SID)