Jamaica’s time in their first 2019 Women’s World Cup hasn’t seen much positives on the pitch, but they head into their matchup with Australia with the aim of scoring their first goal of the tournament while the young team will use their experience in what proved to be one of the toughest groups as a learning opportunity, as reported by CBS Sports. Australia, on the other hand, will be looking to secure a victory by a few goals to ensure their passage into the knockout stages after fighting back from the brink of elimination and overturning a two-goal deficit against Brazil.
While this Jamaica team doesn’t share the quality of its groupmates, the women of the island nation’s accomplishments go far beyond results on the pitch. The team has only existed in its current setup since 2014 after being disbanded in 2008 and qualifying for the tournament by coming third in CONCACAF Women’s Championships, with world giants the United States and Canada ahead of them. The fact Jamaica became the first Caribbean team to make it to the tournament is something that can’t be discounted. A goal or even a point would be an immeasurable cherry on top for a program that is heading in the right direction.
If Jamaica is to grab that elusive goal, it will more than likely come from the feet of Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, who is one of the most prolific scorers in world soccer with 31 goals in 22 international games. While it would be optimistic to the point of delusion to expect a victory, this young team with only three players over the age of 25 has the talent to, at the very least, make things frustrating for their Australian opponents.
While Australia might sit just below the upper echelon of the elite teams in the Women’s World Cup due to their proclivity for defensive lapses, they proved in their epic comeback against Brazil that they have enough attacking ability to go goal-for-goal against any team in the tournament. While each of the four goals that Australia has scored so far has been by a different player, forward Sam Kerr — who has scored 31 international goals so far — is the team’s standout option.
With qualification for the knockout stages hanging in the balance, Australia will have no time for a storybook ending for Jamaica, as they will more than likely put on a showcase attacking display for the win that would guarantee their passage and continue their quest for a fourth consecutive quarterfinals appearance.
Date: Tuesday, June 18
Time: 8 p.m. (BST), 3 p.m. (ET)
TV Info: BBC Red Button (UK), Fox Sports 2 (U.S.)