Reggae Girlz loses to defending champs Mexico
The U-17 Reggae Girlz Squad failed to stay in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Group B showdown, despite a valiant effort by the players, including Florida’s own Madiya Harriott.
The team lost to the defending champions, Mexico, 1 nil, at the Grenada National Stadium last night.
Midfielder Jacqueline Ovalle got the all-important strike of the game in the 41st minute. With the win Mexico ended as Group B runners-up on six points and have booked a semi-final date with Group A winners Haiti.
The United States, who had earlier scored a comfortable 2-0 win over Costa Rica, topped the group with maximum nine points and will face Group A runners-up Canada in the semi-final.
The young Reggae Girlz exit the tournament at the foot of the table having failed to gain a point.
It was another mountainous challenge for the Girlz who, despite their usual tentative approach at the start, responded well to the task at hand and evenly matched strides with the defending champions.
However, the Mexicans were allowed to dictate the terms of the contest in the early exchanges, as the Girlz consistently squandered possession of the ball, but recovered well in defence to avert any possible danger.
Mexico gradually grabbed the ascendancy with a few threatening shots on target, but were denied by custodian Sydney Schneider, who had assistance from the right upright on one occasion.
With an increased level of intensity, they eventually broke the deadlock four minutes from the break when the diminutive Ovalle drove a hard, low left-footer wide of Schneider from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Jamaica increased their tempo on the resumption and battled hard to salvage a point, but intelligent goalkeeping by Mirlam Aguirre denied front-runners Shayla Smart and Ebony Clarke, who were presented with numerous breakaway opportunities, but were hesitant in getting the shot off and were left hanging their heads in despair.
All in all, it was a significantly improved performance from the girls as they seemingly left the best for last despite coming out on the losing end.