TEXAS, CMC – Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a senior Women’s World Cup by defeating Panama 4-2 on penalties to claim third place in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament here Wednesday.
Dominique Bond-Flasza scored the winning spot-kick after both teams had battled to a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation and extra-time.
Both USA and Canada who competed in the final in the qualifying tournament had already secured their places at the 2019 World Cup slated to be held in France, with the third-placed team also earning a spot in the prestigious competition.
In so doing, the Reggae Girls who are ranked No. 64 in the world, became the first Caribbean team to earn a spot in the World Cup. The island nation re-started its women’s national team program in 2014 after a six-year hiatus.
The Jamaica women opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Khadija Shaw buried her shot past Panama’s outstanding goalkeeper Yenith Bailey.
It was Shaw’s 13th goal for the Reggae Girls in her last 12 national team matches.
However, Panama drew level in the 74th minute thanks to a strike from Natalia Mills.
The scored stayed that way at the end of 90 minutes, but Jamaica pulled ahead once again courtesy of 16-year-old Jody Brown’s goal in the 95th minute.
But just five minutes from time, Panama was able to lock the scores at 2-2, with Lineth Cendeno’s goal sending the game to penalties.
However, after a pair of Panama misses, Bond-Flasza placed her shot past Bailey to send Jamaica to France.