MELBOURNE – On August 8th, at 4:00 AM EST, at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Australia, the Jamaican Women’s National Team will take on Colombia in the Round of 16 in this year’s Women’s World Cup. It is safe to say that with this being Jamaica’s first time in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the match is going to be viewed as the most important in team history. Very few were bold enough to predict this squad to make it out of the group stage, and those that did had Jamaica’s dream run limited to the Round of 16, but the ninety minutes and whatever is added on could see them through to a fairytale quarter-final appearance.
Jamaica’s Most Important Game, And How They Could Go Further Than Any Concacaf Team
Wake up and grab your coffee
: Tuesday, August 8
: FIFA Women’s World Cup Round Of 16
: Melbourne, Australia
: 3:00 am (JA/EST) 4:00 am (ET)
.#ReggaeGirlz #FIFAWomensWorldCup #FIFAWWC #COLJAM #BeyondGreatness #JFF_Football pic.twitter.com/3Kd87PniDJ
— Official J.F.F (@jff_football) August 3, 2023
Group Stage Heroics Set Up Big-Time Clash
Game 1 – France
The tournament started for the Jamaicans with a match against European stalwarts France. Viewed as a dark horse to win the entire thing, France were looking to start off their campaign with an exclamation. Jamaica, on the other hand, were hoping to escape with a draw and regroup for the next game. It would be Jamaica who got their wish. A nil-nil draw saw France frustrated, as they dominated possession with 73 percent, and outshot Jamaica two-to-one, but a surprisingly resilient Jamaican defense kept their opponents just far enough away to prevent a breakthrough.
Game 2 – Panama
In a highly anticipated Concacaf clash, Jamaica faced continental rivals Panama for their second group-stage game. A win by either side would have given them a strong opportunity to advance, and it was Jamaica who would prevail in the end. Again being out possessed, but this time creating the better chances, the Jamaicans secured a nervy 1-nil win, and with four points they would head into the final day of group-stage play needing only a draw to guarantee an unforeseen slot in the next round.
Game 3 – Brazil
This game was Jamaica at their best. Playing to their strength of absorbing pressure without letting their opponents complete a key pass in or around the penalty area, Brazil equaled France’s possession percentage at 73, and their goal total of zero. Failing to register a shot on goal, while also only completing 50 percent of their lowly 235 passes, Jamaica looked to have been gifted another zero-zero draw. However, one thing that Jamaica did not accomplish by chance was 270+ minutes of scoreless defensive football. Brazil, like France, were tapped to do big things in this World Cup, but instead, they were sent home early by a team whose backline and keeper do not look likely to be bested anytime soon.
The Big One – Colombia
Shock winners of their group following a surprise 2-1 win over Germany, Colombia come in with heaps of experience against Concacaf teams, but not against Jamaica. While this is not a prediction for the match on Tuesday, the odds currently have Colombia at 50 percent favorites to win the match, while giving Jamaica a 23 percent chance to win. 27 percent of the odds favor a “draw”, which would take the game into extra time and possibly penalty kicks. It is Jamaica’s defense that has caused the odds to be drawn up this way. With a meager attacking record so far this tournament, the 50 percent odds that Jamaica will win or force ET are based solely on the scenario that they will prevent Colombia from scoring. This same Colombia team that put two goals past one of the favorites to win this competition are not being predicted to duplicate that against a nation that dwarfs in both size and population.
A huge thank you to our traveling fans
— Official J.F.F (@jff_football) August 3, 2023
Carrying The Concacaf Banner
The game against Colombia is too close to call for this skilled but still vulnerable Jamaican team. Even if they were able to hold their South American opponents scoreless, there is no promising a goal for Jamaica, and should the game arrive to penalties then it is down to player experience and luck more than anything. What is a guarantee is that Jamaica has a 50/50 chance of being the last Concacaf team standing in this Women’s World Cup. Haiti, Panama, and Canada have all been eliminated following the conclusion of the group stage. That leaves the USWNT as the only other continental opponent left in the knockout rounds. Their own struggles, coupled with a tough draw against Sweden, could see them eliminated at the earliest stage the team would ever have been eliminated at. In fact, the USWNT has never finished lower than third at the Women’s World Cup. That streak and many others could end soon, though, as Jamaica looks to apply their stellar defensive strategy against Colombia and dare to dream themselves all the way into the quarter-finals.
Photo Credit: John Babiak
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