Shaw double sinks Panama in Reggae Girlz send-off

By Sports Desk May 19, 2019

Jamaica talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw found the back of the net in typically routine fashion as the national team registered a 2-0 win over Panama at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The match-up served as part of a final set of preparations ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June.  It was nonetheless, a closely contested affair in a blossoming rivalry between the teams.  Shaw, however, proved to be the early difference between the teams when she found the back of the net in the 29th minute.  The forward doubled the lead soon after the resumption, but Panama pulled one back through Natalia Mills in the 68th minute.  It proved to be a mere consolation, however, as Shakira Duncan rounded out a well-deserved win for the home team with a goal in the 80th minute.  The Jamaicans will open their campaign against Brazil on June 9, before facing Australia and Italy.

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    USA were questioned for over-celebrating as the score reached 13-0, setting a record for either a men's or women's World Cup match, with former Canada international Kaylyn Kyle labelling them "disrespectful".

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    "Goals are pretty hard to come by in our sport and I think the meaning behind those goals, the people behind those goals - you got to celebrate that," Ellis told reporters ahead of Sunday's clash with Chile.

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    "I wasn't celebrating the goal. I was celebrating Carli. I think that’s important."

    USA celebrated five goals from Alex Morgan, who matched a feat accomplished only by Michelle Akers for most goals scored by a player in a single game.

    Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan and Sam Mewis also scored for the first time in a World Cup as they made their tournament debuts.

    "You have to seize those moments," Ellis said. "I have seen a lot of goals in this tournament and there have been a lot of unique celebrations, exuberant celebrations.

    "That is part of a World Cup. It brings you to that level because it's the pinnacle of our sport.

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    A hat-trick from Cristiana Girelli (12th, 25th and 46th) and a brace from Aurora Galli left the Jamaican team searching for answers once again, particularly defensively, after another heavy defeat.

    Girelli got the Italians going from the penalty spot in the 12th minute after defender Allyson Swaby brought down Barbara Bonansea.  The shot was, however, only converted on a second attempt as Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider was penalised after a VAR review for moving off the line.  Girelli doubled the lead after latching on to the corner and beat Schneider to a header early in the second half.

      “Our inexperience showed.  We went out there and gave up a cheap goal.  I think it started from the first half with the penalty, it just bringing down the emotions of the players but hopefully, we can learn from this.  Hopefully, we can get more resources and play these types of games more often,” Menzies said.

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