Four goals from the inspirational captain Jody Brown and two from Sydoney Clarke guided the SS Under 20 Reggae Girls Ship to a massive 9-1 drubbing of Caribbean Neighbours Bermuda in Second Round knock-out action on the high seas of the Concacaf Women’s Under 20 Championship in the Dominican Republic today.
Under sweltering conditions, the Jamaicans kick started the contest with a frenetic pace, and as they set sail the Reggae Girls seized control of the tempo in the early stages , despite the heat wave at the Estadio Panamaericano in San Cristobal.
The history making Reggae girls who today recorded their biggest win at this new format were camping out in the Bermudians half early, and dictated the pace through good crisp passing.
Eight minutes into the contest Peyton Mcnamara floated a through pass to Neville Gayle Able. Able managed to turn by one opponent and laid it off in the path of Jody Brown whose shot was too tame, but it was the signal of greater waves to come.
Then in the 12th minute Lacy Murray broke the deadlock when she picked up a pass from defender Jayden Roberts and darted in the Bermuda goal area. Her one time effort after a 5 yards dribble was blocked by the Bermudian Custodian Zahkari Turner, but the ball rebounded in Murray’s path and right on her boot and she sweetly botted it in for the go ahead goal.
Less than 60 seconds later the Reggae Girls added one more goal, when defender Gabriel Gayle made a good dribble covering at least 15 yards coming forward, before making a pass to send Jody Brown darting towards Bermuda’s 18 yard box. Then with a burst of speed and one defender beaten in the process, Brown’s powerful right footed effort spun past the Bermudan Goal keeper who was lost at sea. Two nil Jamaica.
Six members of Jamaica’s current Under 20 Reggae Girls team who came through the local system, (Left to Right- Tacia Austin, Gabriele Gayle, Sherice Clarke, Lacy Murray, Jody Brown, and Neville Gayle- Able)
Later in the contest with Bermuda slowly coming into their own, and stringing a few passes together, their first real threat resulted in them pulling back a goal. Brown and Gayle lost possession of the football in the middle of the pitch after a mix up in communication, and with Bermuda’s captain Jade Stewart reading the play, she gained control of the ball and stabbed it forward to an advancing Nia Christopher.
The Jamaican back four was again caught too high and Christopher wasted no time and flicked it over the head of the stranded Jamaican Goal keeper Ella Dennis who was off her line which made it 2-1 in minute 26. The Jamaican ship at that time took in some water at starboard, but that could not effectively rock the boat to cause any major problems.
With the first half winding down, the Jamaicans got a corner which was taken by the hard working -Peyton Mcnamara. The ball was floated high, and just before it landed in the 18 yard box midfielder and Waterhouse player Neville Gayle Able rose in pursuit to head past the Bermudian Goal keeper and make it 3-1 for Jamaica in the 41st minute.
On the resumption, the Jamaicans began the second half with the same intensity as the first half, and while Bermuda fought gallantly for every ball, the Reggae girls were more resolute.
Captain Brown never panicked when the seas got rough, nor did she ask to dock at the nearest port, she remained focused on the task at hand. She took down an aerial pass, bore through three players and fired it up field in the path of Marlee Fray. It turned out Fray was not close enough to pick up the pass, and the ball rolled in the path of Chantell Parker who was running onside and tracking the ball.
Parker who had earlier scored in the 4-1 win over El-Salvador in the group stages, then unleashed a shot to put Jamaica further ahead at 4-1 in the 53rd minute. It was evident like the Titanic disaster that Bermuda was sinking fast.
Reggae Girls aggregation at the Concacaf Women’s Under 20 Championship in Santo Dominigo, Dominican Republic.
Given her hard work on the vessel she was later substituted and replaced by Jordyn Bartholomew as the Jamaican coaching staff infused some fresh legs on deck. In addition another change was made when Fray came out and made way for Gabrielle Scarlett.
Brown as she did before got on the score sheet again, this time in the 60th minute, thanks to her ferocious shot at the top of the 18 yard box which found the Bermudan defenders out of position like sailors without a rescue plan, in addition the Bermudian goal keeper was also off her line, thereby giving the Jamaicans a 5-1 advantage. However the one way splash and dash was far from over.
With the Jamaicans now finding their groove, Jaden Roberts found space in the Bermudian goal area and as she dribbled goal-wards she was brought down in the penalty area. Captain Brown stepped up and converted Jamaica’s first penalty of the campaign, to make it 6-1 in the 74th minute.
Then in minute 82 substitute Sydonie Clarke found her spice, and helped seasoned the Reggae girls pot which was by now boiling with the sweet scent of victory emanating. Clarke marked by one defender attempted to go forward with the ball, made a cut back and eluded her marker to gain some room before firing at goal to put the score at 7-1 in Jamaica’s favour. The opponents were at this stage clearly in-need of life jackets as Jamaica’s goal scoring tempest grew worse for Bermuda, in other words it was high tide.
Clarke who had earlier missed two shots at point blank range, found her form late, but was good enough to add one more in minute 88 to make the one way contest 8-1 for the energetic Reggae girls.
However the Jamaicans were not finished yet, and Captain Jody Brown later put the icing on the cake.
In time added on Brown picked up a pass in midfield from her team-mate Gabrielle Gayle, and it was all the little player from Lime Hall, St Ann needed as she sprinted towards goal, with a glimpse of Shelly Ann Fraser -Pryce’s speed.
With two defenders running on either side in lanes 3 and 5 and attempting to block her path, they were no match for the fleet footed warrior who picked her spot and fired into the far right hand corner to end the contest 9-1 for Jamaica. The result was the end of the road for Bermuda who is one of four teams who gained automatic berth to the round of 16.
The Jamaicans are now in the quarterfinal to face the Host Dominican Republic on Wednesday March 4. The Dominican Republic advanced after a triumphant 4-1 win over El-Salvador.
Speaking after the Ship at anchored Captain Jody Brown said the objective was met and calls for the nation to stand behind her team.
The girls will have three days off before they return to the pitch.