Both members of Jamaica’s female gymnastics team of Isabelle David and Alana Walker have advanced to the final round of the women’s all-around category at the Pan American Championships being held in Santa Maria, Colombia.

David’s score in the qualification round for all-around was 47.967 which placed her 12th while Walker’s score of 47.067 placed her 16th among the 24 finalists. David was also named as a reserve for the final rounds of both the beam and floor exercise categories.

Her scores in the beam and floor were 12.267 and 12.200, respectively.

"I am so excited to have made it to all-around finals and be a reserve for two events," David told Sportsmax.tv.

"It is such a great accomplishment and I'm proud of myself for being able to achieve it. I'm so honoured that I was able to represent Jamaica to the best of my abilities during the qualifying competition. I am so excited to have another opportunity during the all-around final competition. I hope to show off all of the skills that i have worked so hard to get," she added.

Walker reacted to competing for Jamaica on the international stage once again.

“It felt really good out to get back out there on the international competition floor after a long three years off,” she said.

“Although it wasn’t my best, I’m very proud of how I performed yesterday. It was fun to be out there with Izzy and the coaching staff and very exciting to find out I made all-around finals. I’m very thankful to team Jamaica for their continued support and belief in me. I’m ready to get back out there, do my best and represent Jamaica with Izzy tomorrow,” she added.

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s ace cyclist Nicholas Paul continued his rich early season form as he wrapped up another double gold medal-winning outing at the just-concluded Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles, California.

Paul’s medals were won in his customary events, the men's Keirin and Sprint, and followed his fairly successful outing at the UCI Championships in Hong Kong where he recovered from a two-cycle collision in the Keirin to win the Sprint.

The 23-year-old again expressed gratitude for the continued support as he represents the twin island republic with much gusto.

“It is always an honour to represent my country and the Pan American region. Thank you to everyone for all the love and continued support. The Journey continues and the next stop will be the Nations Cup in Milton, Canada. So, I just want to continue putting in the hard work and let it show in my performances,” Paul said.

In the Keirin, Paul topped Colombia’s Kevin Quintero, while another Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Kwesi Browne copped bronze.

However, it took a photo-finish to separate Paul and another Colombian Cristian Ortega for the Sprint crown. Paul bettered his South American rival in the first ride before edging ahead in the second ride on the line by millimeters to retain his title.

Meanwhile, Akil Campbell was also among the medals, as he won a bronze medal in the men's scratch race.

In other results at the meet, Alexi Ramirez finished eighth in the women's elimination race and in the women's scratch race, while Makaira Wallace and Phoebe Sandy placed 13th and 17th in the women's sprint qualification, respectively.

Crystal Palace defender Daniel Munoz scored a stunning first international goal as Spain’s build-up to Euro 2024 began with a surprise 1-0 defeat by Colombia.

Right-back Munoz acrobatically converted Luis Diaz’s cross in the 61st minute to earn his side a morale-boosting result moving towards this summer’s Copa America in the United States.

Three-time European champions Spain enjoyed plenty of possession at the London Stadium but lacked a cutting edge as their eight-match winning run ended.

Former Real Madrid man James Rodriguez played an instrumental role in his country’s success, which stretched their unbeaten run to 20 games, after coming off the bench following a forgettable first half.

Spain will look to bounce back on Tuesday night when they host Brazil at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

The Spanish – unfamiliar in yellow shirts against a nation renowned for wearing them – opted to leave influential Manchester City midfielder Rodri on the bench for the evening, while Liverpool’s Diaz captained Colombia.

Luis de la Fuente’s side started in the ascendancy but without seriously threatening in a tight opening period of few chances.

Athletic Bilbao defender Daniel Vivian nodded narrowly over on his international debut following a fine cross from Alex Grimaldo, who earlier fired straight at opposition goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.

Colombia, backed by a sizeable support at the home of West Ham, were aggressively pressed by a team monopolising possession.

Mateo Cassierra forced a save out of Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya following a well-worked free-kick routine but the South Americans were restricted to little as they largely sought opportunities to counter.

Colombia manager Nestor Lorenzo turned to James in search of a much-needed spark for the second period, while Spain keeper Raya was replaced by debutant Alex Remiro of Real Sociedad.

Lorenzo’s men improved significantly after the restart, albeit Vargas had to be alert to deny Gerard Moreno a 49th-minute opener.

Minutes after skying well over when well placed, ex-Everton player James played a key role in what proved to be the winner.

His fine pass released Diaz down the left and, after twisting and turning Vivian, the skipper delivered an inviting centre which bounced before Munoz, winning his 24th cap, dispatched the ball high into Remiro’s net with an eye-catching scissor kick.

The thumping finish sparked wild scenes of celebration among the healthy Colombian contingent in a crowd of more than 43,000.

Spain introduced striker Alvaro Morata as part of a triple change.

But they could not find a leveller as they slipped to a first defeat since a shock 2-0 European Championship qualifying loss to Scotland last March.

The November-December window of the Concacaf Women's Gold Cup qualifiers concluded recently, with the field for next year's inaugural Concacaf Women's Gold Cup completed.

During the window, eight teams qualified for the tournament, with Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica securing spots in the group stage, while Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Haiti, Guyana and Dominican Republic progressed to the Prelims. 

Here is the full list of teams currently qualified for the 2024 Women's Gold Cup.

Group Stage

United States -The four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winners clinched their place in the Gold Cup when they defeated Canada 1-0 in the final of the 2022 Concacaf Women's Championship.

Canada -The 2020 Olympic Gold Medal winners punched their Gold Cup ticket after defeating Jamaica 4-1 on aggregate in the Concacaf Olympic Playoff.

Mexico -Mexico qualified to for the group stage as winners of Group A of League A in the qualifiers.

Panama -Panama qualified to the group stage as winners of Group B of League A.

Costa Rica -Costa Rica qualified to the group stage as winners of Group C of League A.

Brazil -Brazil are one of the four invited teams to the 2024 W Gold Cup. Brazil were winners of the 2022 Conmebol Copa America Femenina.

Colombia -Colombia another invitee were runners-up of the 2022 Conmebol Copa America Femenina.

Argentina -Argentina another invitee was the third-place finisher at the 2022 Conmebol Copa America Femenina.

Paraguay -Paraguay, by virtue of their fourth-place finish at the 2022 Conmebol Copa America Femenina, were also invited to the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Prelims

Puerto Rico-Puerto Rico were runners-up in Group A of League A.

Guatemala -Guatemala bettered Jamaica to place second behind Panama in Group B of League A.

Haiti -Haiti placed second in Group C of League A.

Guyana -Guyana finished tops in Group A of League B.

El Salvador -El Salvador topped Group B of League B.

Dominican Republic -Dominican Republic topped Group C of League B.

Luis Diaz scored twice as Colombia stunned Brazil 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier, days after his father was released by kidnappers.

The Liverpool striker netted twice in four minutes late in the second half, watched by his father Luiz Manuel Diaz who was held for 12 days before his release last week.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli had put Brazil in front after just four minutes.

Colombia’s first win over Brazil for eight years lifts them into third in the South American qualifying table with Brazil, who suffered a second successive defeat in the competition, down to fifth.

On a night of surprises, goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez saw Uruguay beat Argentina 2-0.

Lionel Messi struggled to impose himself, hitting the crossbar in the second half as Argentina’s 100% record since lifting the World Cup was ended.

Uruguay’s win lifts them to second in the table, two points behind Argentina.

Venezuela are in fourth after a goalless draw with Ecuador, Chile and Paraguay also drawing a blank while Bolivia won the battle of the bottom two with a 2-0 win over Peru.

A series of unstoppable performances on the International Cycling Union (UCI) circuits in Canada and Germany, followed by a classy display at the PanAm Elite Track Cycling Championships in Argentina, a performance which complemented a gold medal win at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Add to that another double medal-winning performance at the Pan American (PanAm) Games in Santiago, Chile.

For many, that would more than represent a successful cycling career. But for Trinidad and Tobago's Nicholas Paul, this is only the beginning. In fact, despite his many successes to date, Paul still views his career as a work in progress, possibly because he is still hunting that one prize or moment to really define things and that is the Olympic Games dream.

Much like he did at the PanAm Elite Track Cycling Championships in Argentina where he won the Sprints and Keirin, while clocking a new track record 9.349 seconds in the flying 200m, Paul once again demonstrated his qualities as one of the best track cyclists in the world when he won gold in the final of the Men’s Sprint at the 2023 Pan American Games.

The outstanding 25-year-old out-paced his rival Jair Tjon of Suriname to top the podium, while Kevin Santiago Qunitero Chavarro of Colombia bettered Canada’s Nicholas John Wammes in the race for the bronze medal.

For Paul, the win added to his Pan Am Games title won in Lima, Peru in 2019 and he rightly expressed delight at the accomplishments.

“Firstly I would like to thank God for a safe meet. I am very pleased with my performance at this stage of the season because my preparation coming into the Pan-American Games was really good, and so I knew it was all left to my execution as the key factor which would determine how things would turnout.

“Fortunately, I executed well both in the flying 200m and the Sprints achieving some excellent results. Creating a new games record is always a special moment for me and my country,” Paul told SportsMax.tv.

The modest twin island republic cyclist returned a day later to cop a silver medal in the Men’s Keirin final.

On that occasion, Paul used his electric sprint speed in the final lap to power himself to second place, after falling behind the pack with a couple of laps remaining in the six-lap event.

The event was won by Colombia's Kevin Quintero, the reigning world champion in the event, while Mexico's Juan Ruiz Teran was third.

Paul, who has been a model of consistency throughout the season, attributed his continuous improvement and, by extension, success to the time spent in training honing his craft.

“It’s means a lot to me just to know that my hard work is paying off and I’m able to show the world that Trinidad and Tobago has a lot of talent. Like I said before, my preparations for the PanAm Games have been great and so I am pleased that I was able to accomplish all my goals to an extent,” he shared.

That said, Paul hinted at the possibility of much more to come, as he intends to continue pushing the limits and discover what he is truly able to achieve –next year’s Olympic Games in Paris being his next immediate target.

“It’s all a work in progress, my plan is to build on this performance and to do so, I intend to keep putting in those hard hours to keep getting stronger and faster. My overall goal for this year and beyond is to firstly qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games and secondly, try to win a medal or medals at the Olympic Games for Trinidad and Tobago. But for now, the focus is some much-needed rest and recovery," Paul declared.

Colombian police are searching a mountain range in the north of the country for the kidnapped father of Liverpool forward Luis Diaz.

Diaz’s mother has been rescued but the Colombian authorities have stepped up the search for his father, with the player having returned home to be with family members.

Police have been carrying out aerial patrols across the Perija mountain range, which straddles the border with Venezuela and is covered by a forest.

In a post on social media, Colombian police director general William Salamanca was shown visiting the operation in order to “recognise our commandos for their bravery and commitment to rescue him safe and sound”.

Police have offered a reward worth around £39,000 for information leading to the rescue of Luis Manuel Diaz.

On Monday Salamanca urged caution with regards to reports that Luis Manuel might already have been taken into Venezuela, pointing to the difficulty of crossing the Perija mountains.

Both FIFA and the Colombia Football Federation have offered support to Diaz, 26, while Liverpool allowed the player to return home.

Speaking after Sunday’s 3-0 home win over Nottingham Forest, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said preparation for the game had been “the most difficult I’ve ever had in my life”.

Klopp added: “I didn’t expect that, I wasn’t prepared for it. I don’t want to make the game bigger than it was, but definitely, we tried to help Luis with the fight we put in because obviously we want to help and we cannot really help.

“So the only thing we can do is fight for him and that’s what the boys did.”

Liverpool said in a statement: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm it is aware of an ongoing situation involving the family of Luis Diaz in Colombia.

“It is our fervent hope that the matter is resolved safely and at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, the player’s welfare will continue to be our immediate priority.”

Liverpool signed Diaz from Porto in January 2022 in an initial £37.5million deal that included a potential extra £12.5million in add-ons.

England hit back from a goal down to defeat Colombia and book an appetising World Cup semi-final showdown against co-hosts Australia next week.

The Matildas were earlier tested to their limit but they kept their bid for success on home soil alive following a nail-biting penalty shoot-out triumph over France.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back on the day as the last four line-up was confirmed.

Lionesses roar

The absence of the suspended Lauren James might have come back to bite England, who fell behind after 44 minutes when Leicy Santos looped an effort over Mary Earps at a sold-out Stadium Australia in Sydney.

However, England capitalised on a major slice of fortune to equalise before half-time as Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez inexplicably failed to gather a loose ball and Lauren Hemp pounced to stab home six minutes into added-on time.

Georgia Stanway set up Alessia Russo’s low finish to hand the Lionesses the lead after 63 minutes and, while Colombia pushed forward against the European champions, an equaliser proved elusive.

Matildas squeak through

Both Australia and France had their opportunities over the regulation 90 minutes and additional half-hour but neither side was able to make the breakthrough in a goalless draw at Brisbane’s Lang Park.

The drama went up a few notches in an absorbing shootout, with Australia’s Mackenzie Arnold making four saves, including twice from Kenza Dali after being off her line before saving the retaken spot-kick.

Cortnee Vine then secured a 7-6 triumph – slotting home the winning penalty after France’s Vicki Becho saw her effort hit a post – as Australia moved into the World Cup semis for the first time.

Post of the dayQuote of the day

Hemp admitted on ITV that England’s exertions had taken its toll on the team.

What’s next?

Semi-final: Spain v Sweden, Auckland, Tuesday 10am

Semi-final: Australia v England, Sydney, Wednesday 11am

Sarina Wiegman admits she was unaware of just how big the rivalry is between England and Australia after Alessia Russo’s winner against Colombia sealed a 2-1 win and set up a World Cup semi-final with the co-hosts.

The Lionesses fell behind after 44 minutes of their last-eight contest in Sydney when Leicy Santos looped the ball over England keeper Mary Earps, but saw her effort cancelled out before the break when Lauren Hemp pounced on an error from Colombian keeper Catalina Perez in stoppage time.

Russo completed the comeback with a fine low finish from Georgia Stanway’s delivery, the 2-1 result enough to book England a third trip to a World Cup final four – an encounter that has already drawn comparisons to the Ashes.

Asked if she was aware of the perennial rivalry between the two countries, England’s Dutch boss replied: “I just think it is going to be really big, but I’ve had a couple of questions about that now so it’s probably going to be bigger than I imagined now.

“So I’ll talk to my players and staff and see what that rivalry is then. I think the Australians and English can get along really well, and we’ve had such a warm welcome here, we’ve really enjoyed our time here in Australia, and I actually really like the people here.

“But that doesn’t mean there’s no rivalry, so we’ll see that Wednesday.”

In April, Australia became the only side to have beaten England under Wiegman’s now nearly two-year tenure, when goals from Sam Kerr and Charlotte Grant fired the Matildas to a 2-0 victory at Brentford.

This has so far been a tournament of fine margins for the Lionesses, who outside of their 6-1 victory over China in the group stage have enjoyed dominant spells but never matches, and on Saturday night in Sydney were up against a Colombia side whose supporters turned the 75,000-plus seat Stadium Australia into an away contest for England.

Bethany England, who came on as a substitute for the third time this tournament, believes the raucous Colombia crowd is the perfect dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s semi-final against the co-hosts, who beat France 7-6 on penalties to advance to the final four for the first time.

Though that match took place in Brisbane, thousands of Matildas fans packed the parks outside Stadium Australia before England’s match, some even climbing trees to get a better view of their own quarter-final and the deciding shoot-out.

England said: “I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing. I thought the crowd tonight was incredible. Every time we touched the ball they were booing but I think you just relish it because these are the atmosphere you want from stadiums. 75,000 and the Australian fans are going to bring a nice big bit of noise through. It’s going to be interesting and entertaining for everyone.

“We’ve been in this situation where we’ve had a lot of noise. The Euros last year at Old Trafford, Wembley. It’s nothing these girls aren’t used to now. We are getting in more and more in the women’s game. Selling out, getting big crowds and not being able to think. So it’s just going to be an exciting game and a special one.”

Alessia Russo praised England for “keeping the dream alive” as they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Lauren Hemp cancelled out Leicy Santos’ strike for Colombia before Russo scored the winner in a 2-1 win.

The Lionesses now face co-hosts Australia on Wednesday in the last four and Arsenal forward Russo was full of praise for her side’s performance.

She told ITV: “I’m buzzing, the semi-final of a World Cup, we’re keeping the dream alive.

“I’m buzzing, obviously Colombia are a top team and I think they’ve shown more than that this World Cup. It was a really tough test, but so happy to get three points and be in the semis.

“We’ve had to dig deep from the first game and that’s what it’s like, they have so many talented players who can cause you trouble within a second.

“But I thought our back line were brilliant tonight, we kept it locked down, won and now we’re in the semis.”

Hemp echoed her sentiments, saying the team were “really special” against Colombia.

“What an amazing feeling. I’m absolutely knackered right now, most of the team are,” Hemp told ITV.

“We put in a great performance. I think you saw the resilience in the squad and I’m so proud of this team.

“I thought we controlled most of the game to be honest, they had a few counter-attacks and we knew what they were going to bring and I felt we dealt with it quite well.

“Whenever we got the ball it looked like we were going to create something, I think the team were really special toady and long may that continue.”

However, Russo insists there is still plenty to work on ahead of the semi-final.

She said: “What makes this team great is we’re always trying to find ways to improve even after we’ve reached the semis. We’ve got lots to work on. We’ve got to get recovered, rested and go again.”

The Arsenal forward is relishing the chance to face Australia.

“It’s exciting, what more do you want?” Russo said.

“You want to play against the best teams and obviously they’re the hosts. I think Colombia had a great fanbase out tonight, so we’ve had a little taste, but I’m so excited.”

Hemp added: “I’m buzzing, it’s where you want to be. I want to play on the world’s biggest stages and obviously we’re here right now in the semi-final, I’m over the moon and can’t wait.

“The atmosphere here was incredible, it’s going to be incredible again, but sometimes that’s when you thrive and we thrived again tonight, so hopefully we’ll do the same again.”

England are among eight nations still standing at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as preparations continue for their respective quarter-finals.

The last-eight fixtures begin on Friday when Spain play the Netherlands and Japan take on Sweden, while the Lionesses face Colombia after co-hosts Australia and France clash on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at the first of two fixture-free days Down Under before the action resumes.

We’re not happy – Bronze

Lucy Bronze admitted England “are not happy” with their World Cup displays, but vowed the Lionesses will step up on Saturday against Colombia.

The European champions rode their luck to beat Nigeria in the last 16 on penalties and will be without Lauren James, who will serve at minimum a one-game ban after her dismissal on Monday.

Barcelona defender Bronze said: “We’ve built on every game, we’ve taken something from every game, whether that was the Haiti game that was physical, the Denmark game when we lost our key player in Keira (Walsh), the China game we changed the formation completely, (Monday) we had a red card.

“Everything that has been thrown at us, we’ve dealt with and moved forward. I don’t see many other teams who’ve had that adversity and if they had, I don’t think they’ve managed to overcome the way we have. At the same time, we are not happy with our performances.”

Matildas prodigy tipped for top

Australia’s Cortnee Vine says there is no limit to what team-mate Mary Fowler can achieve in the game and insisted she has not been surprised by the 20-year-old Manchester City forward’s stellar contribution.

Vine said: “She can just be amazing. I said to her before this tournament began that she’s going to have a fantastic tournament. She just has so much more to go and she’s still so young, I think we forget sometimes.

“She’s so mature and knows what she wants and is her own individual kind of person and when she gets on that field, you just see something special.

“I just think she’s going to keep growing from that. I can’t wait to see Mary keep going because she’s just killing it at the moment.”

Swedes wary of Japanese threat

Sweden pair Fridolina Rolfo and Zecira Musovic believe quarter-final opponents Japan have been one of the best sides in the tournament so far.

Japan edged closer to a second World Cup triumph on Saturday by beating Norway 3-1 in the last 16, having cruised through their group without dropping a point or conceding a goal.

Barcelona forward Rolfo said: “They have been great, I have to say that. They have been one of the best teams so far in the tournament. So we need to analyse them really well and need to have a good match plan.”

Chelsea goalkeeper Musovic added: “We know it will require a lot of hard work. I think Japan is maybe the most exciting and maybe the team who has impressed me the most so far.”

Post of the dayQuote of the dayWhat’s next?

Quarter-final: Spain v Netherlands, Wellington, Friday 2am.

Quarter-final: Japan v Sweden, Auckland, Friday 8.30am.

Colombia stand between European champions England and a place in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup.

The sides meet in the last-eight clash at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Saturday, with Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses having edged past Nigeria on penalties despite Lauren James’ dismissal, while the South Americans saw off Jamaica.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look the team England must beat to keep alive their dreams of global glory.

Coach

Renowned for developing talent, 67-year-old Nelson Abadia initially learned his trade in youth and lower-division football and has worked across South America. After a spell in charge of the America de Cali women’s team, he was appointed Colombia boss in 2017 and guided them to World Cup qualification via an impressive Copa America Femenina campaign.

Key players

Two women at opposite ends of their careers have carried the nation’s hopes in some style Down Under. Inspirational skipper Catalina Usme, 33, and Real Madrid’s 18-year-old Linda Caicedo, widely regarded as a superstar in the making, have each scored two of the five goals they have managed in the competition to date. As well as Usme and Caicedo, who finished top scorer in the Colombian league as a 14-year-old, Abadia has Atletico Madrid midfielder Leicy Santos, Levante forward Mayra Ramirez and Real Sociedad defender Manuela Venegas at his disposal.

Pedigree

At 25th, the South Americans are the lowest placed of the quarter-finalists in FIFA’s rankings, but, having already helped see off one of the pre-tournament favourites Germany in the group stage, they cannot be under-estimated. Runners-up to Brazil in last year’s Copa America Femenina, they travelled to Australia and New Zealand not only determined to better their previous best of reaching the last 16 in Canada in 2015, but of making a significant impression. Victory over an England side who, barring their thumping 6-1 Group D victory over China, have not been at their best, would certainly do that.

Style of play

Colombia have been described as “raw” in their approach to the game, an expression which says as much about their physicality – a behind-closed-doors warm-up game against the Republic of Ireland was abandoned at Ireland’s request after a bruising 20 minutes – as it does their freedom of expression. Abadia is not afraid to tinker with a system in which it is pace out wide which provides the threat, although his team is based on the solid foundation of a back four which have conceded only two goals so far in the tournament.

Jamaica’s historic run at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, came to an end, as they conceded their first goal of the tournament which proved their undoing in a 0-1 loss to Colombia on Tuesday.

The Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, in Australia, where the Reggae Girlz etched their names in the annals of global sporting history, when they denied the mighty Brazil in a goalless draw last week, has ironically become the place of their own farewell, courtesy of captain Catalina Usme’s decisive strike in the 51st minute.

Though it was their most underwhelming performance of the tournament, in which they also held France to a goalless stalemate and defeated Panama 1-0, the Reggae Girlz had much to take heart from, as their run on this second-consecutive appearance, described by many as a fairytale, was nothing short of remarkable.

By virtue of merely making the Round of 16, the 43rd-ranked Jamaicans became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockout stages of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Still, for Head coach Lorne Donaldson, that meant very little to ease the disappointment. Instead, his focus was more on how they can capitalise on the successes of this tournament to not only sustain, but more importantly, build the programme going forward.

“It was a decent game, but Colombia played better so they deserve the win. We played hard and it has been a good run for us…nobody likes to lose but Colombia threw the knockout punch. We knew if we gave up a goal, we had to score goals and we didn’t do that.

“So like I said, it was an amazing run, an amazing feat and I am happy for the Girlz that they got here but give Colombia credit,” Donaldson said in a post-game interview.

“I don’t care about history; I just want us to build on what we just did. We can be better, so let us just build on this,” he added.

Captain Khadija “Bunny” Shaw echoed similar sentiments.

“We didn’t perform as well as we should have so we will just have to come together as a group, not just individually, but as a group and look at what we did wrong so we can perfect it going forward. This run means a lot though and it shows that if you believe and you work hard, then anything is possible,” said Shaw.

“We came out, we held our own and we played hard, but its football, you win some and you lose some. We just have to lift our heads high be proud of ourselves, as you can see the gap is closing between the small islands and the bigger countries so this just goes to show that women’s football is growing and we have to keep moving forward and keep pushing it and hopefully we can get it as far as possible,” she stated.

After playing out a goalless first half where chances were at a premium, in front of a massive crowd of over 27,000 dominated by Colombians, it was only fitting that the South Americans gave them something to cheer about, and that they did.

With only six minutes on the clock after the resumption, a delightful long ball from Ana Guzman to switch the point of attack, deceived Jamaica’s left-back Deneisha Blackwood, who stepped too early and was beaten by the flight leaving Usme unmarked at the far post.

While Blackwood gradually recovered to apply some semblance of pressure, the 33-year-old Usme, was cool, calm, collected and steered a left-footer past Rebecca Spencer, who was beaten for the first time this tournament.

That goal was the wakeup call the Jamaicans needed to inject some tempo into their attacking thrust and they could have immediately pulled level from a set play.

This, as Blackwood’s weighted free kick found Jody Brown at the far post, but the diminutive forward slammed her header at the base of the upright.

The introduction of Tiffany Cameron added some impetus to Jamaica’s attack, which was well off colour, as they struggled to complete passes and create anything too meaningful to worry the Colombians.

In fact, their next best effort came in the 82nd minute when Cameron’s weighted cross from the right, fell nicely for Spence, whose header just went wide of the right upright.

Donaldson signalled his intentions to go for broke with the introduction of 19-year-old World Cup debutant Kameron Simmonds and the experience Cheyna Matthews in attack, but the move proved fruitless.

Instead, it was Colombia that almost had another when a dangerous cross from Usme, dipped well enough for Leicy Santos, who applied a timely diving header that had Spencer beaten, but couldn’t beat the left upright, five minutes from time.

The Jamaicans will next turn their focus to the upcoming Olympic qualifying playoff fixtures against Canada in September.

Teams: Jamaica –Rebecca Spencer, Allyson Swaby, Chantelle Swaby, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire (Cheyna Matthews 83rd), Drew Spence, Vyan Sampson (Peyton McNamara 79th), Jody Brown (Kameron Simmonds 83rd), Trudi Carter (Tiffany Cameron 67th), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Atlanta Primus 46th), Khadija Shaw

Subs not used: Sydney Schneider, Liya Brooks, Havana Solaun, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Solai Washington, Konya Plummer, Kayla McKenna

Booked: C Swaby (41st), Spence (45+1)

Colombia –Catalina Perez, Daniela Arias, Diana Ospina, Lorena Bedoya, Mayra Ramirez, Leicy Santos (Daniela Montoya 87th), Catalina Usme (Marcela Restrepo 90+2), Ana Guzman, Carolina Arias, Linda Caicedo, Jorelyn Carabali

Subs not used: Sandra Sepulveda, Natalia Giraldo, Camila Reyes, , Angela Baron, Lady Andrade, Monica Ramos, Ivonne Chacon, Daniela Caracas, Elexa Bahr

Booked: D Arias (70th)

Referee: Kate Jacewicz (AUS)

Assistant referees: Kyoungmin Kim (KOR); Joanna Charaktis (AUS)

Fourth official: Marta Huerta (ESP)

Jamaica’s historic run at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, came to an end, as they conceded their first goal of the tournament which proved their undoing in a 0-1 loss to Colombia on Tuesday.

The Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, in Australia, where the Reggae Girlz etched their names in the annals of global sporting history, when they denied the mighty Brazil in a goalless draw last week, has ironically become the place of their own farewell, courtesy of captain Catalina Usme’s decisive strike in the 51st minute.

Though it was their most underwhelming performance of the tournament, in which they also held France to a goalless stalemate and defeated Panama 1-0, the Reggae Girlz had much to take heart from, as their run on this second-consecutive appearance, described by many as a fairytale, was nothing short of remarkable.

By virtue of merely making the Round of 16, the 43rd-ranked Jamaicans became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockout stages of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Still, for Head coach Lorne Donaldson, that meant very little to ease the disappointment. Instead, his focus was more on how they can capitalise on the successes of this tournament to not only sustain, but more importantly, build the programme going forward.

“It was a decent game, but Colombia played better so they deserve the win. We played hard and it has been a good run for us…nobody likes to lose but Colombia threw the knockout punch. We knew if we gave up a goal, we had to score goals and we didn’t do that.

“So like I said, it was an amazing run, an amazing feat and I am happy for the Girlz that they got here but give Colombia credit,” Donaldson said in a post-game interview.

“I don’t care about history; I just want us to build on what we just did. We can be better, so let us just build on this,” he added.

Captain Khadija “Bunny” Shaw echoed similar sentiments.

“We didn’t perform as well as we should have so we will just have to come together as a group, not just individually, but as a group and look at what we did wrong so we can perfect it going forward. This run means a lot though and it shows that if you believe and you work hard, then anything is possible,” said Shaw.

“We came out, we held our own and we played hard, but its football, you win some and you lose some. We just have to lift our heads high be proud of ourselves, as you can see the gap is closing between the small islands and the bigger countries so this just goes to show that women’s football is growing and we have to keep moving forward and keep pushing it and hopefully we can get it as far as possible,” she stated.

After playing out a goalless first half where chances were at a minimum, in front of a massive crowd of over 27,000 dominated by Colombians, it was only fitting that the South Americans gave them something to cheer about, and that they did.

With only six minutes on the clock after the resumption, a delightful long ball from Ana Guzman to switch the point of attack, deceived Jamaica’s left-back Deneisha Blackwood, who stepped too early and was beaten by the flight leaving Usme on marked at the far post.

While Blackwood gradually recovered to apply some semblance of pressure, the 33-year-old Usme, was cool, calm, collected and steered a left-footer past Rebecca Spencer, who was beaten for the first time this tournament.

That goal was the wakeup call the Jamaicans needed to inject some tempo into their attacking thrust and they could have immediately pulled level from a set play.

This, as Blackwood’s weighted free kick found Jody Brown at the far post, but the diminutive forward slammed her header at the base of the upright.

The introduction of Tiffany Cameron added some impetus to Jamaica’s attack, which was well off colour, as they struggled to complete passes and create anything too meaningful to worry the Colombians.

In fact, their next best effort came in the 82nd minute when Cameron’s weighted cross from the right, fell nicely for Spence, whose header just went wide of the right upright.

Donaldson signalled his intentions to go for broke with the introduction of 19-year-old World Cup debutant Kameron Simmonds and the experience Cheyna Matthews in attack, but the move proved fruitless.

Instead, it was Colombia that almost had another when a dangerous cross from Usme, dipped well enough for Leicy Santos, who applied a timely diving header that had Spencer beaten, but couldn’t beat the left upright five minutes from time.

The Jamaicans will next turn their focus to the upcoming Olympic qualifying playoff fixtures against Canada in September.

Teams: Jamaica –Rebecca Spencer, Allyson Swaby, Chantelle Swaby, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire (Cheyna Matthews 83rd), Drew Spence, Vyan Sampson (Peyton McNamara 79th), Jody Brown (Kameron Simmonds 83rd), Trudi Carter (Tiffany Cameron 67th), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Atlanta Primus 46th), Khadija Shaw

Subs not used: Sydney Schneider, Liya Brooks, Havana Solaun, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Solai Washington, Konya Plummer, Kayla McKenna

Booked: C Swaby (41st), Spence (45+1)

Colombia –Catalina Perez, Daniela Arias, Diana Ospina, Lorena Bedoya, Mayra Ramirez, Leicy Santos (Daniela Montoya 87th), Catalina Usme (Marcela Restrepo 90+2), Ana Guzman, Carolina Arias, Linda Caicedo, Jorelyn Carabali

Subs not used: Sandra Sepulveda, Natalia Giraldo, Camila Reyes, , Angela Baron, Lady Andrade, Monica Ramos, Ivonne Chacon, Daniela Caracas, Elexa Bahr

Booked: D Arias (70th)

Referee: Kate Jacewicz (AUS)

Assistant referees: Kyoungmin Kim (KOR); Joanna Charaktis (AUS)

Fourth official: Marta Huerta (ESP)

Two-time champions Germany have crashed out of the Women’s World Cup after drawing 1-1 with South Korea in their final Group H match in Brisbane.

Cho So-hyun had put South Korea in front in the sixth minute before Germany captain Alexandra Popp equalised with a 42nd-minute header.

But Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s world number two side were unable to add to that, with Popp going closest with a header against the crossbar on the hour mark.

And with Morocco beating Colombia 1-0 in the pool’s other game, leaving them both with six points, the Germans, on four, were condemned to third place and failed to make the knockout rounds of the competition for the first time in their history.

The 2003 and 2007 World Cup winners, who started their campaign at this edition by thrashing Morocco 6-0 before a shock 2-1 loss to Colombia, become the third top-10 ranked team to be eliminated at the group stage, after Canada and Brazil.

South Korea, managed by Englishman Colin Bell, also bow out with this having been the first point of their campaign.

There was an early warning for Germany when 16-year-old Casey Phair – who became the competition’s youngest ever player in the group’s opening round of matches – hit a shot in the third minute that Merle Frohms did well to turn against a post.

Three minutes later, another attack from Bell’s team saw them grab the lead as Lee Young-ju played a fine through-ball and Cho slotted past Frohms.

Klara Buhl sent two efforts off-target soon after, but Germany struggled to threaten much beyond that until Popp drew things level just before the break, connecting with Svenja Huth’s cross for her fourth goal of the tournament, moving level with Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa as top-scorer.

Popp thought she had headed her side in front in the 57th minute, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside, and a few moments on from that she sent another header against the bar.

Frohms was then called upon to push away a Ji So-yun corner, before Popp headed at Kim as Germany’s frustration continued.

A lengthy period of added time at the end, which included a stoppage when Cho was injured and carried off on stretcher, and lasted more than 15 minutes, included Germany substitute Sydney Lohmann putting strikes wide and over as Tecklenburg’s side tried in vain to rescue themselves from making unwanted history.

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