After their heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Costa Rica after fighting back to tie the match on a Shakira Duncan goal in the 77th minute, the Reggae Girlz found themselves in win or go home territory in their quest to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup
Since Costa Rica had already clinched Group B with 6 points and the wins over both Mexico and Jamaica, both teams were playing for the Group B runner up spot and a semifinal date with FIFA world number one ranked Team USA.
Mexico and Jamaica came into the game at RFK Stadium with a win and a loss in group play and 3 points. Because Mexico scored 10 goals on Martinique in their October 18 match with them while Jamaica scored a 6-0 win with Martinique back on the 16th, they entered this final group match with a +9 goal differential to Jamaica’s +5. That meant that if both teams finished the game with a draw, Mexico would advance.
The Reggae Girlz struck hard and struck first with Donna-Kay Henry’s third goal of the tournament in the 14th minute. It was a rocket fired just under the crossbar inside the far post from the right side of the box to take the early 1-0 lead. But Mexico struck back with a Sandra Mayor goal in the 29th minute to send to match to halftime drawn at 1-1.
Mexico broke Jamaica’s hearts in the 59th minute with the first of Veronica Corral’s two second half goals. She added an insurance goal in the 79th minute for the 3-1 win that allowed Mexico to finish 2-1 in Group B play while the Reggae Girlz finished 1-2.
Jamaica came close, but dropping that match with Costa Rica turned out to be the death blow to their effort to become the first Caribbean based women’s team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
Hopefully the Reggae Girlz will get a chance to do so again in 2019, and the Jamaican Football Federation and some corporate sponsors step up with the funding.
Let’s hope they get enough funding so they can play the friendly matches they need against the international women’s soccer powers to strengthen their team and make that World Cup dream a reality.