Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Host country Jamaica and Mexico advanced to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Football Championship yesterday after playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their top-of-the-table Group A clash yesterday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Jamaica topped the group with seven points, while Mexico were second on five points.
Both teams will now await the outcome of the United States versus Canada Group B clash game to know their semi-final opponents.
Yesterday, Mexico took the lead through forward Betsy Cuevas' strike in the ninth minute, and the junior Reggae Girls found the equaliser from a direct corner kick from Felicia Davidson on the stroke of half-time.
Today, the powerful United States will face attack-minded Canadians at 6 p.m. to settle the top two spots in Group B. Before that, already eliminated Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala meet at 3 p.m.
Yesterday, in what turned out to be the most thrilling match of the eight-team tournament, in front of the biggest crowd to gather since the start of the competition, both teams swapped chances and brilliant build-up play, as they waltzed into the final four.
But early on, it was Mexico who dominated the action through their midfield play, as the hosts were only content in sitting deep.
The goal appeared to have brought life to the Jamaicans, and especially their captain Khadija Shaw, who was monstrous in her tackles.
It was Shaw's tenacious play that brought Jamaica its goal, as she battled her way forward before driving the ball against the defender to earn the corner from which Davidson scored.