Jamaica secured a spot in the next round of the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday following an easy 4-1 win over El Salvador in their second Group E fixture, at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.
Captain Jody Brown led the way for the young Reggae Girlz with a double strike in the second and 11th minute to hand Jamaica a 2-0 lead.
El Salvador fought back to make it a one-goal affair right before halftime with Mara Rodriguez founding the back of the net.
But Jamaica’s class would come to the fore in the second half, as goals from Lacey Murray in the 58th and Chantelle Parker in the 82nd minutes paced Jamaica to the victory.
The group’s other game saw Guatemala and Canada battle to a 0-0 draw. The result puts Canada into the second round with Jamaica.
Las Chapines put forth an impressive defensive display in limiting the dangerous Canadian attack, thanks also in part to the heroics of goalkeeper Ashley Avalos.
The day’s results leave both Jamaica and Canada on four points, while Guatemala have two points and El Salvador have zero. The young Reggae Girlz are leading the group courtesy of goal difference over Canada in second place.
Action resume in Group E on Wednesday with Guatemala taking on El Salvador, while Canada square off against Jamaica in a game to decide the winner of the group
The year’s tournament features a new 20-team format after all previous tournaments were comprised of eight teams in two groups of four. This year, 16 countries have been drawn into four groups of four, while four countries advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament.
The top three finishers in each group will qualify to the Round of 16, where they will be joined by the four teams from the pre-qualifying tournament – Bermuda, Barbados, Grenada, and St Lucia. From there, it’s a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The two winners of the semifinal matches will qualify to the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup to take place in Costa Rica and Panama.
This year’s Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship will only send two teams to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, rather than the usual three, due to the World Cup being played in the Concacaf region and hosts Costa Rica and Panama receiving automatic bids.