Jamaica Knocks Brazil Out Of The Women's World Cup
On Wednesday, Jamaica knocks Brazil out of the Women's World Cup. At the conclusion of a footballgame, spectators frequently experience a range of feelings, from elation to the darkest depression imaginable.
When referee Esther Staubli blew her whistle to signify the finish of Jamaica's 0-0 tie with Brazil, it was like a knife was thrown through the spirit of everyone who had Joga Bonito in their hearts.
A nation in which anything less than winning the World Cup is considered to be a failure (even if this sets expectations excessively high for a women's team that has continually been denied funding and chance), was knocked out of the group stage of the Women's World Cup for the first time since 1995.
The competition that was intended to be the beginning of a new era for women's footballin Brazil ended up being disappointing.
On the other hand, there was happiness on the opposite side. Not only happiness, but unrestrained, uninhibited ecstasy coming from the Reggae Girlz. The squad that Lorne Donaldson was coaching advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in only their second World Cup appearance.
They had secured their first win at a World Cup by virtue of a victory over Panama, and on their route through the tournament, they had held France and Brazil to draws. The game plan for Jamaica on Wednesday was straightforward: defend.
During their match against France, they only maintained a possession rate of 24% and spent 30% of their time in either a mid - or low-block formation. They had a little higher possession rate of the ball than Brazil did, but they spent over 40 percent of their time in a low block.
But it was successful. By the end of the first half, Brazil had only managed to create one shot that was even remotely close to being on target. That attempt came from Tamires in the 39th minute, and it was saved by Rebecca Spencer at the near post.
During the second half, their greatest opportunity came from a frantic scramble that started after a corner kick. Playersfuriously flung themselves in every direction until Debinha shot a header at Spencer. Spencer made the save. Joga Bonito keeps colliding with an impassable barrier.
The Jamaicans had their first opportunity in the 82nd minute when Khadija Shaw broke free and blasted an attempt over the bar. However, they did not need to win in order to move on to the next round.
They had to keep to the strategy, effectively manage the game, and be prepared to resort to the more underhanded methods of squandering time if necessary. The Reggae Girlz are deserving of their moment because they have shown that they are capable of winning, or in this instance drawing, games like this one.
They have done it with grace on two separate occasions. Marta, a senior player for Brazil who is participating in her final World Cup, had earlier this week commented on the emergence of countries like Jamaica in this tournament, declaring that:
the more we work, the harder we work, and the more we dedicate ourselves, the more opportunities we create.- Marta
Marta is participating in her final World Cup. She was quoted as saying this:
brings brilliance to women's football.- Marta
On this particular evening, Jamaica's greatness was on full display.