Sports

Brave Girlz fall to US

Spirited Jamaica come up short in 1-2 loss to end World Cup quest

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE CONCACAF U-20
WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
In Trinidad

Monday, January 22, 2018

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COUVA, Trinidad and Tobago — Jamaica's Under-20 Reggae Girlz World Cup dream went up in smoke when they went down 1-2 to defending champions the USA in a hard-fought Group B CONCACAF Women's Championship contest at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva yesterday.

The Jamaicans, who entered the contest needing to win, fell just short in the end, despite giving a more spirited effort.

Sophia Smith (42nd minute) and substitute Jaelin Howell (89th), both of whom play for Jamaica's Head coach Lorne Donaldson in Colorado, USA, got the goals for the Americans.

Substitute Jazmin Grant (88th) pulled one back for the Young Reggae Girlz.

The Americans moved to six points and have now joined leaders Mexico, also on six points, but with a superior goal difference, in the semi-finals.

Mexico had registered a 2-0 win over Nicaragua in the curtain-raiser.

It was a more spirited start by the young Reggae Girlz this time around as they signalled intentions early when Ebony Clarke fired a warning shot straight at USA custodian Amanda McGlynn.

But the Americans settled soon after and gradually gained the ascendancy and applied consistent pressure.

They could have broken the deadlock on a number of occasions when the Jamaican defence was caught out of position, but faulty shooting and good glove work from Sydney Schneider denied them the breakthrough.

After absorbing pressure, the Jamaicans then went a hunting and camped out in the Americans half for some time, but also failed to find the go-ahead goal.

And just when it seemed as if the teams would remain level at the break, Canadian referee Carol-Anne Chenard awarded a free kick inside the arc.

Smith then stepped up and fired past Schneider, who got a finger to the ball in a desperate attempt to save.

The Americans immediately picked up where they left off on the resumption and Schneider was called upon to deny them twice in quick succession.

The tall custodian first did well to parry a sting shot from distance by Savannah Demelo and again thwarted the captain's effort from close range.

The momentum shifted on the hour mark and the Jamaicans enjoyed the better of play as they utilised their speed to wear down the Americans defence.

Grant, who replaced Marlee Fray in attack, got a number of chances upon her entry, but was hesitant in pulling the trigger on all three occasions.

Her clearest chance came a minute after she came in when a distant effort by Olufolasade Adamolekun caught custodian McGlynn in trouble and Mireya Grey placed a pass across the face of goal which she hit wide.

However, she eventually got it right when she got on the end of Adamolekun's well-taken free kick to put Jamaica back on level terms.

But seemingly exhausted by their celebrations, the Jamaicans conceded immediately after as the defenders were slow to react to a cross and Howell gladly converted from close range to steal the victory.

Teams:

Jamaica — Sydney Schneider, Chyanne Dennis, Madiya Harriott, Jadyn Matthews, Gabrielle Gayle, Giselle Washington, Alyssa Julien, Ebony Clarke (Olufolasade Adamolekun 55th), Jody Brown, Marlee Fray (Jazmin Grant 71st), Mireya Grey (Shayla Smart 87th).

Subs not used: Yazmeen Jamieson, Nevillegail Able, Kevena Reid, Jayda Pelaia-Hylton

Booked: None

USA — Amanda McGlynn, Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Isabel Rodriguez, Zoe Morse, Brianna Pinto, Savannah Demelo (Jaelin Howell 65th), Tara McKeown, Viviana Villacorta, Kelsey Turnbow (Ashley Sanchez 46th), Civana Kuhlmann (Abigail Kim 77th).

Subs not used: Laurel Ivory, Taryn Torres, Samantha Coffey, Karina Rodriguez, Kiara Pickett

Booked: None

Referee: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)

Assistant Referees: Chantel Boudreau (CAN); Shirley Perello (HON)

Fourth Official: Mirian Leon (SLV)

Match Commissary: Gwendolyn Salmon (ATG)

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