Jamaica held Brazil to a scoreless draw on Wednesday, advancing them to the round of 16 and condemning the South Americans to their earliest elimination from the World Cup since 1995. This meant that Marta’s World Cup journey would not conclude with a happy ending, as a result.
The great Brazilian forward Marta, who at the age of 37 had announced that this would be her last World Cup, must have been devastated by the result.
However, it was a happy moment for the Jamaican squad, since they have not yet lost a game at the competition and have advanced to the knockout stages for the very first time in their nation’s history.
The undefeated team of Lorne Donaldson will very certainly compete against Colombia in the following round.
Jamaica needed just to draw to ensure their spot in the next round, whilst Brazil needed to win in order to advance.
Therefore, it should not have come as much of a surprise that the South Americans were the ones who had the upper hand throughout the first half in Melbourne.
Brazil enjoyed greater possession of the ball and more shots on goal in front of a crowd of approximately 28,000 people. Jamaica did not have a single shot on target throughout the whole game, while Brazil had five.
But despite all of that and the fact that Marta started the game, Jamaica was never really in any kind of significant danger at any stage throughout the match.
Jamaica’s defense was strong and they had a lot of players on the field. They were able to keep France scoreless and then beat Panama 1-0 to claim their first win in World Cup history.
Brazil, who have never won the World Cup and are now coached by Pia Sundhage, seemed to be out of ideas as they entered halftime scoreless.
The second half started out similarly to the first, but Brazil had a hard time developing any promising scoring opportunities.
Although she was a prolific scorer for Manchester City and Jamaica’s undeniable shining light, Khadija Shaw was seldom considered an offensive threat.
In the game’s last twenty minutes, Jamaica shown little symptoms of faltering, while Brazil simply ran out of energy and ideas.
The fact that Jamaica was able to accomplish such a spectacular feat despite losing all three of their games in their first World Cup in 2019 is all the more impressive when one considers the tensions that occurred behind the scenes.
Last week, defender Allyson Swaby said that making an impression at the tournament would send a message to the country’s football authorities that the women’s squad deserves better treatment. Swaby made this statement in reference to the fact that the competition is already underway.
There has been an ongoing disagreement between Donaldson’s squad and their football organization regarding the lack of assistance they have received, which includes problems with salary and inadequate preparation in the lead up to the World Cup.