‘Not done making history’
Fans believe Reggae Girlz have another shocker left in the tank
Jubilant fans at The Summit where Jamaican fans were gathered yesterday for breakfast and Women’s World Cup football, while buoyed by the Reggae Girlz’s history-making win against Panama yesterday, are also adamant that the Jamaican women are not done breaking new ground in their second consecutive campaign.
Jamaica clipped Panama 1-0 yesterday in their second Group F game, thanks to a 56th-minute header from Allyson Swaby, giving them their and the Caribbean’s first win in tournament history.
Fans gathered for the official breakfast watch party to send positive energy to the Girlz thousands of miles away in Australia, confident that they would take a major step towards the round of 16 after drawing with France in their first group game. It was a result that Trecia Boothe willed into existence, setting her alarm early to ensure that she could witness the result.
“Excellent. History in the making. I didn’t wake up at five o’clock this morning to get here for anything else. It is wonderful. Love the vibes, love the energy,” Boothe told The Sunday Gleaner.
While the first half was frustrating with Jamaica unable to put away their chances, Swaby’s header brought the crowd to their feet. And while the talk from the outside suggested that the task was daunting, Boothe said she had faith in the team to turn heads at the tournament.
“To be honest, I felt the girls from the draw. I felt that this was it. Jamaica is going places and see it here, we don’t need anything more.”
For Cleve Williams, the victory was a moment that he shared with his football-playing daughter, who emphasised the importance of witnessing the senior women represent the nation proudly.
“My daughter is in the football programme. That is why we brought her here because it is important for her to get that experience and to see and cheer on her fellow countrywomen,” Williams said.
“From the draw, it seemed impossible but you know that in football the ball is round so it can go any way. To see the girls win one, we are almost there in terms of the next round. So that is good.”
With Jamaica only needing a point to secure passage to the round of 16, Boothe believes the Reggae Girlz must show no fear, especially with talismanic skipper Khadija Shaw’s return from suspension.
“This is such momentum going into the game against Brazil. With Shaw off the red card. History again. We are not finished making history,” Boothe said.
For Williams, the final ground game against Brazil will be a difficult affair, not only because of the position but because of the respect that Jamaicans have long had for their opposition’s style of play and how it has influenced their fandom. But Williams believes that they can cause another shock
“Jamaica and Brazil are twins in terms of football but we want to give Brazil a 1-0 just like we gave Panama 1-0,” Williams said.
In the meantime, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, who led celebrations at The Summit, said the Reggae Girlz have kept making her proud.
“The Reggae Girlz have created history at the World Cup again. We are so proud of our Girlz. We are so proud of our Reggae Girlz, I can’t tell you,” said Grange.