Something has happened in the Woman’s World Cup that no one expected or even predicted. Jamaica has advanced to the Round of 16 for the very first time.
According to The Associated Press, Jamaica is going to the knockout round for the first time since entering the tournament. The team battled to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday to stop Brazil from advancing. This is the first time Brazil didn’t make it into the round of 16 since 1995.
Jamaica has shut out France, Panama, and Brazil in consecutive games to place itself on this magical run to the tournament’s knockout stage.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life. To be able to do this is unbelievable to just watch it, while I’m alive. I thank the girls for doing this for the country. The country should be proud,” said Lorne Donaldson, coach of the Jamaica team.
Jamaica’s team, the Reggae Girlz advance to the Round of 16 in only their second Women’s World Cup. They made the tournament when in 2019 but they were winless in all three group-stage matches. But, this go-round, Jamaica is undefeated in Group F.
Jamaica almost didn’t make the tournament. The team had to rely on crowd fundraising because of the lack of financial support from its federation. After two fundraisers, the Reggae Girlz were able to raise close to $100,000 from their fans and supporters.
The draw for Brazil not only eliminate them from the tournament but it means their star player, Marta has played her last game. Previous to the start of the Woman’s World Cup, she stated that she intended to retire after her last game. She leaves the tournament as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 17 goals. She holds the record for most goals scored in the tournament but was unable to add to it as she went scoreless in Brazil’s games.
All Sports Jamaica also reported that the Reggae Girlz became the first Caribbean nation to break through the group stages.