Jamaica’s Under 20 Reggae Girls lit up the Estadio Panamericano in San Criostobal on Monday after steam rolling El-Salvador 4-1 to book a ticket to the next round of the Concacaf Women’s Under 20 Championship in the Dominican Republic.
Striker Jody Brown was the first to get on the score sheet in the group E’ contest, after she picked up a pass on the right flank from Chantell Parker, dribbled forward in the box, drifted left and slotted past the El -Salvadorian goal keeper Paola De Paz in the second minute on the clock.
El-Salvador were pushing high and at times pressing the advantage, and against the run of play Brown got a through pass from Neville Gayle Able near the top of the box, got pass the last defender on the dribble and with the El-Salvador goal keeper off her line and drifting back, Brown lofted the ball over her head and it landed into the back of the net to give Jamaica a 2-nil lead after 11 minutes.
As the first half wore on under the sweltering conditions, a fatigued Jamaican defender Gabriel Gayle was called out for committing a foul in the box, bringing down an advancing Mara Rodriquez, who later converted the penalty to pull one back for the Central Americans on the stroke of half time to make it 2-1.
Faithful Jamaica fans supporting the Reggae Girls at the Estadio Panamericano en San Cristobal.
On the resumption, when both teams emerged from the dressing room, Jamaica seized the advantage and got some good chances to extend the lead, but with the opponents roughing them up , Brown lost her cool after she was tackled dangerously from behind and was caught in a scuffle with Gloria Gonzalez. The referee stepped in to break up the melee and booked both players with a yellow card.
Later in the contest the St Ann based Waterhouse player Lacy Murray added one more , when she broke free on the right side, turned past one defender and slotted home to make it 3-1 in minute 58. Then the hard working Chantell Parker who plays for Oakville Blue Devils in Ontario exhibited some good footwork in beating no fewer that two opponents and firing past the goal keeper to put Jamaica in the drivers seat for a 4-1 advantage in the 82nd minute.
With time running out, El-Salvador burst into life momentarily and forward Yoselyn Lopez with a flash down the right hand side, cut in past defender Jayden Roberts and unleashed a wicked shot with pace, that forced the best save of the game, which saw Ella Dennis diving full length to her left to push it away.
It must be noted that Brown, Neville Gayle able and Peyton Mcnamara were all yellow carded for Jamaica.
The Jamaicans will rest on Tuesday before tackling Canada on Wednesday in their final group game.
Elsewhere in the group early leaders Canada slipped to second place, after they were held to a goal less draw by Guatemala. The group is now being led by Jamaica on 4 points the same as Canada, but Jamaica holds a better goal difference.
The winner of the Group will face Bermuda in the next round on Saturday.