Jamaica Girlz kickstarted their quest to book a spot at the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup against the Panamanians with a completely different squad from the one that went on a fairytale run at the Women’s World Cup last summer.
Having something to prove, the Reggae Girlz started their away fixture on the right foot; despite the short time together, the Jamaican ladies showed some fine chemistry in their play, which led to them grabbing an early lead in the encounter.
See the starting 11 below:
After a brilliant dribble from Jamaica’s winger down the left-hand side, she whipped in a cross to the back post for Walker to slot home from close range in minute 21. Panama responded well to being behind and had a good opportunity to get a goal back, but Jamaica’s defence stood strong.
However, Panama did get on the score sheet late in the first half, with a helping ‘head’ from a Jamaican defender, Keene, who scored a terrible own goal to level the score 1-1 to close the first half on a bad foot for the Reggae Girlz.
The second half saw a shift in play as Panama took control and peppered the Jamaican defence relentlessly, despite the dominance in possession and good chances in the final third, Panama failed to take the lead. Jamaica’s goalkeeper kept her side in the game by pulling off some outstanding saves.
On the other hand, the Reggae Girlz tried their best to launch a few fruitful counterattacks on the break, but just like their opposition, Jamaica could not find the back of the net in the first 35-plus minutes of the second period of the game.
However, Panama did not ease up on their constant attacks, and they finally found the right play to break through the Jamaican’s sturdy defence in the 84th minute. Cedeno rifled in a low shot in the corner of the goal to put her team 2-1 up and in the driving seat as they will now head to Kingston, Jamaica, for the second leg.