World

Jamaica reaches knockout round for the first time, eliminating Marta’s Brazil at Women’s World Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia –


Jamaica advanced to the knockout round for the first time following a 0-0 draw Wednesday that ended Brazil’s run in the group stage for the first time since 1995 at the Women’s World Cup.


The scoreless game in Melbourne also ended Brazilian great Marta’s World Cup career.


She holds the all-time scoring record with 17 goals at the World Cup but couldn’t add to her tally in her sixth trip to the global tournament.


After conceding 12 goals in its Women’s World Cup debut in 1999, Jamaica shut out France, Panama and Brazil in consecutive games to finish second in Group F behind the French.


In addition to being ranked well below both Brazil and France, Jamaica progressed despite the financial struggles it faced before the tournament.


These difficulties resulted in Jamaica receiving support from fans through crowdfunding due to inadequate support from its federation. Nearly $100,000 was raised for the team through two fundraisers.


After opening the tournament with a 4-0 victory over Panama, Brazil failed to get the victory it needed to extend Marta’s World Cup campaign.


KEY MOMENTS


With Marta starting the match for the first time in the group stage, Brazil maintained possession for most of the first half but struggled to test Jamaica goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer.


The second half saw Brazil lift the tempo as the team chased the goal needed to advance. Brazil recorded six shots on target but struggled to threaten Jamaica’s goal as Jamaica’s organized defence stifled the team throughout the game.


Marta was replaced after 80 minutes with the game still in the balance.


A free kick from Andressa and a header from Debinha in stoppage time represented Brazil’s closest chance of scoring the winning goal. It was close, but close enough.


WHY IT MATTERS


With the draw, the Reggae Girlz advance to the Round of 16 in their second Women’s World Cup. The team made its debut in 2019 but lost all three group-stage matches, including a 3-0 loss to Brazil. This time, Jamaica finishes unbeaten in Group F.


Brazil’s loss means it is eliminated from the Women’s World Cup in the group stage for the first time since 1995. With the exit from the tournament, Marta has played her final World Cup match after announcing her plan to retire prior to the tournament. She bids farewell to the game’s biggest stage as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 17 goals.


IN THEIR OWN WORDS


“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life. To be able to do this is unbelievable to just watch it, while I’m alive. I thank the girls for doing this for the country. The country should be proud.” — Lorne Donaldson, Jamaica coach.


“For me, that is the end, but it’s just the beginning for the others.” — Marta, Brazil’s veteran forward.


WHAT’S NEXT


Jamaica advances to play the winner of Group H next week in Adelaide, South Australia. Brazil’s tournament comes to a disappointing end.


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Emily Dozier is a student at the University of Georgia’s Carmical Sports Media Institute.

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