Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation to reach the knockout phase of the Women’s World Cup, sending Brazil crashing out of the tournament in the process.
Jamaica had never previously reached the knockout stages of a World Cup – men’s or women’s – prior to the 0-0 draw in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Success for the ‘Reggae Girlz’ has been based on resolute defending which has seen Jamaica become one of just three teams to collect three consecutive clean sheets – Japan and Switzerland are the other two nations.
Brazil’s Marta, the record scorer in World Cup history and veteran of six tournaments, looked laser-focused on the objective of qualification, passionately singing her country’s national anthem in what was her final World Cup fixture.
Jamaica’s manager Lorne Donaldson sprinted onto the pitch before finding himself on the turf after attempting a cartwheel and was then mobbed by his victorious players.
“I tell you what, this is one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life,” Donaldson told ITV. “Just to see these girls and to see a country like Jamaica be able to do this,
As Brazil poured more and more numbers forward, gaps opened for the ‘Reggae Girlz’ and in particular for star striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw.