Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor has offered an update on the injury that forced star striker Khadija Shaw off at half-time against West Ham on Sunday.

Shaw made a blistering start to the game and set City on their way to a 5-0 victory, scoring twice in the first 24 minutes as her team returned to the top of the Women's Super League table. However, she went down with a foot injury in the final seconds of that first half and was replaced by Chloe Kelly after being helped off the pitch by the team's medical staff.

Concern grew for Shaw when she appeared in a boot and with crutches during the second period. City are locked into a fierce title race with Chelsea, who are three points behind them but with a game in hand. To lose a player who has scored 21 goals in 18 league games this season would be a huge hit to their challenge.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Taylor said of Shaw's withdrawal: "We decided not to take the risk. It was touch and go as to whether she was going to come back on the pitch. We'll get a bit more of an assessment tomorrow. She's on crutches, which looks bad, but most of the players end up being offloaded in that situation. We'll just have to assess it. If it's more serious than we anticipate, then we'll deal with it. I thought Chloe Kelly came onto the pitch and did really well in that position, put them under a lot of pressure, created some good opportunities. We'll find out a little bit more over the next couple of days."

The Cityzens travel to bottom side Bristol City next weekend as they look to stay ahead in the title race but it is the fixture the week after that which fans will be desperate to have Shaw available for, as third-placed Arsenal come to town.

A double from Reggae Girl Khadija Shaw propelled Manchester City Women to a dominant 4-1 win over Liverpool Women to move three points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Super League on Saturday.

Lauren Hemp opened the scoring for City in the 16th minute, the first of three goals in eight minutes for the light blues at Prenton Park.

Jess Park (22’) and Shaw (24’) got the other goals as City went into the halftime break with a 3-0 lead.

Shaw completed scoring proceedings for City with her second goal five minutes into the second half.

Liverpool’s consolation came six minutes from full time through an own goal from City goalkeeper Khiara Keating.

City will now enter the international break on 46 points from 18 outings. Chelsea are second with 43 points from 17 games while Arsenal are a distant third with 37 points from their 17 games.

Shaw now has 19 goals in 17 games this season.

Khadija Shaw became Manchester City’s all-time leading goalscorer for Manchester City Women as Gareth Taylor’s side ran out 3-1 winners over Manchester United Women in Saturday's derby.

Shaw netted her 68th goal in just 81 appearances for the club early in the second half to help ease the Citizens to their 11th straight league win, taking them top of the WSL.

Jessica Park's first-half double had put the hosts in control at the Etihad Stadium, as she took advantage of slack United defending.

An own goal from Kerstin Casparij gave United hope in the latter stages, but the Red Devils' comeback attempt proved fruitless.

City weathered United's early pressure well in a cagey start, with Khiara Keating making two vital saves to deny Nikita Parris and Lucia Garcia before the hosts found their rhythm.

Their 37th-minute opener was Park's first-ever goal in the WSL – a composed finish that she slotted into the bottom-right corner.

Park then found the same spot with a close-range volley to double City’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

It could have been 3-0 at the break, but Shaw was denied her record-breaking goal by the offside flag.

The Jamaican did take the next opportunity that fell to her feet, just 35 seconds after the restart.

Having latched onto Park’s throughball, the 27-year-old curled a low finish around Mary Earps and into the far post, bringing up her 17th goal of the WSL season.

Hannah Blundell, who was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch having escaped a second booking for a foul on Shaw in the first half, orchestrated the visitors' consolation after City failed to clear their lines, with her cross deflecting off Casparij and out of Keating's reach at the near post.

It could have set up a nervy finish, but City got over the line with the minimum of fuss.

Shaw spearheading City's title charge

Heading into the weekend, City had gone toe-to-toe with Chelsea in the title race this season, with both sides having identical winning records, and Emma Hayes' team only sitting top due to their superior goal difference, but with the Blues not in action until Sunday, Taylor's team took the advantage.

Key to their sustained pressure at the top has been the form of Shaw, who now tops City's all-time scoring chart as well as leading the race for the Golden Boot.

Georgia Stanway held City's record before her, with 67 goals in 186 appearances between 2015 and 2022, but Shaw has surpassed that haul in 105 fewer outings.

Shaw had chances to double her tally, with a header shortly before the hour and then two great opportunities following United's goal, but she had to settle for one.

United's Champions League hopes slip away

United have struggled to hit the heights of last season, which saw them finish second after taking the title race to the final day, as well as reaching the FA Cup final, which they also lost, going down to Chelsea.

This defeat surely means United will not be playing in the Champions League next season, as they remain six points adrift of Arsenal in third with just five games remaining.

United's away form has caused them problems this year, and they are winless in four on the road for just the second time in their history, having last gone on such a run between November 2019 and February 2020.

Jamaican international Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Tottenham, setting up one goal before succumbing to injury in the 70th minute.

Despite Shaw’s early assist to Mary Fowler, City failed to secure victory, ultimately losing in a penalty shootout.

After assisting Fowler’s close-range finish in the sixth minute, Shaw endured missed opportunities on both sides of the halftime break, including a chance created by Filippa Angeldahl’s cross just before halftime and a header over Laura Hemp’s cross shortly after the resumption of play.

However, Shaw’s contributions were cut short when she suffered a shoulder injury midway through the second half, forcing her to exit the match.

City manager Gareth Taylor conceded that his team did not deserve to win, citing a lackluster performance following a promising start to the game. Despite their early lead, City’s wastefulness in front of goal proved costly, allowing Tottenham to equalize in stoppage time and ultimately secure victory in the penalty shootout.

With the defeat, Manchester City failed to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, as Tottenham advanced to join Chelsea, Manchester United, and Leicester City in the final four.

Manchester City defeated Everton 2-1 to climb to the top of the Women’s Super League table.

City picked up where they left off in their first match since defeating Chelsea last month, with goals from Khadija Shaw (15th) and Lauren Hemp (55th) taking them three points clear of Emma Hayes’ side, who play Leicester on Sunday.

It is now 12 victories in a row in all competitions for Gareth Taylor’s City, who were pegged back by a fine strike from Hanna Bennison in the 60th minute but deserved the three points.

City, who have won all 16 of their league games against the Merseyside team, were behind Chelsea only on goals scored at the top of the table heading into the clash at the Joie Stadium. They were well fired up for this game and dominated from beginning to end against Brian Sorensen's team.

City enjoyed the majority of early possession but had a hard time getting time and space in dangerous areas. After a few tame efforts, Everton made it easy for the home team when Justine Vanhaevermaet crumbled under pressure and played a short pass inside the box that went directly to Shaw, who suddenly had an abundance of time and space to smash in the opener.

The goal gave the in-form hosts a massive boost as they looked even more dangerous from then on, with Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp sending dangerous balls into the box that Shaw was unable to connect with. By half-time, 1-0 seemed a low score considering City had 13 shots throughout the first 45 minutes.

Everton, meanwhile, were gifted one chance late in the half when goalkeeper Khiara Keating played the ball straight to Rikke Madsen, but her weak shot was straight back at the youngster.

After Shaw missed a great opportunity by heading over the bar, it was Hemp who doubled City's lead, combining with Coombs in the middle of the pitch before driving forward and sending a long-range effort rolling into the bottom corner.

Everton were not down and out, though, as City suddenly looked flustered at the back and gave the ball away, resulting in Hanna Bennison smashing in a beauty of a goal from outside the box. Both teams pushed on for another goal, but neither could find a way past their opponents' goalkeeper.

Manchester City blew the Women’s Super League title race wide open after Khadija Shaw netted the winner in a 1-0 victory over Chelsea that took them level on points with the four-time defending champions at the summit.

The Jamaica international extended her Golden Boot-leading tally to 14 goals in 13 appearances, two more than Chelsea’s Lauren James, who was largely quiet in front of a sold-out Kingsmeadow.

Chelsea had what might have been an all-important penalty shout dismissed before the break and it took an outstanding effort by City keeper Khiara Keating to keep out the Blues in a thrilling second-half stoppage-time surge.

The top two sides head into their last eight matches level on 34 points and even on goal difference, with Chelsea’s 41 goals five more than City’s total, allowing them to remain leaders for another week.

It was Keating, who extended her WSL-leading clean sheet tally to seven, who was first called into action when Nathalie Bjorn nodded Erin Cuthbert’s corner in her direction.

Chelsea fell behind after 14 minutes when Jess Park dispossessed Cuthbert inside the hosts’ half and cut across to Shaw, who blasted the opener past Hannah Hampton, moments later coming close to another but dragging her shot wide before another effort was saved by the Blues keeper.

It was the beginning of a dominant spell for the visitors, who tested Hampton again through Laia Aleixandri’s header before Chelsea finally broke back and Guro Reiten was denied at the near post.

Chelsea wanted a penalty when Alex Greenwood broke up January signing Mayra Ramirez’s run at the edge of City’s six-yard box and in replays appeared not to touch the ball, but with no VAR in play referee Abigail Byrne dismissed the shout.

The Blues continued to apply pressure as an outstretched Keating was just able to get her fingertips on the edge of Fran Kirby’s effort across the face of goal following some excellent work by James in the build-up for the Blues’ best chance of the half.

It was a more aggressive Chelsea side who returned after the break, though it was Shaw who had the best early chance, Leila Ouahabi’s cross coming a bit too early as the striker stooped forward to meet it.

Chloe Kelly stung Hampton’s hands with just under 20 minutes remaining, the hosts then coming painfully close when Cuthbert aimed for the top corner, sending Keating into a dive and fans into a premature celebration as the skipper’s effort ultimately sailed wide.

City needed another goal to lift themselves into the top spot, but if anyone was going to change the scoreline it looked to be Chelsea, who dominated from the final 10 minutes through nine minutes of added time, when Keating made a huge stop to deny substitute Jelena Cankovic snatching a late leveller.

It was all Chelsea in the final, thrilling moments – but it was somehow still the visitors who walked away with all the spoils.

Jamaica and Manchester City superstar striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw is one of six nominees for the Barclays Women’s Super League (WSL) Player of the Month award for December.

Shaw strengthened her position at the top of the division’s goalscoring chart with a hat-trick in Manchester City’s 4-1 success over Everton on December 17 in Merseyside.

The Jamaican shrugged off the disappointment of missing an early penalty to break the deadlock with a sublime chip over Courtney Brosnan.

She then added to her tally with a clinical low finish before heading home City’s fourth after the interval to finish the scoring.

Shaw is now the leading scorer in the WSL with nine goals in as many league games.

Also nominated for the award is Shaw’s City teammate Lauren Hemp who got a pair of goals in the team’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa on December 9.

Manchester United’s Ella Toone, Liverpool’s Taylor Hinds, Leicester City’s Lena Petermann and Tottenham Hotspur’s Barbora Votikova complete the nominees.


Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw continues to enjoy an outstanding individual campaign for Manchester City, and, as such, will end the year atop the Barclays Women’s Super League (WSL) scorers list.

The towering Jamaican striker has so far tallied 21 goals in a mere 10 games played so far in the 2023/24 season, and her feat has positioned Manchester City in second on 22 points, three behind leaders Chelsea.

Shaw’s rich vein of form puts her ahead of Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly (18), Bethany England (12) of Tottenham Hotspur, and Brighton Hove and Albion’s Elisabeth Terland (12) in the race for the Golden Boot, heading into the New Year.

The colourful exploits of the 26-year-old Reggae Girl should come as no surprise, as she merely picked up where she left off last season when she broke new ground by notching 31 goals in all competitions, a record across a single campaign for City’s women’s team.

During that season, Shaw was named Women’s Player of the Season in a fan vote, while she was also shortlisted for the Barclays Women’s Super League’s equivalent award.

Shaw finished the 2022/23 season with an astonishing 31 goals in all competitions, surpassing Nikita Parris’ previous highest total of 25 for a Women’s player across a single season. She achieved that tally in just 30 matches, meaning she found the net at a rate greater than once per game. 

When you add nine assists onto that total, her overall goal involvements for that campaign stand at an incredible 40. 

Shaw scored 20 of those goals in the WSL, two in as many UEFA Women’s Champions League matches, two in two Continental Cup fixtures, and an astonishing seven in three FA Cup appearances. 

And by all indications, there will be much more records and scoring feats to come for both Shaw and Manchester City, as her impressive journey will continue at the club until at least 2026.

A Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw hat trick powered Manchester City Women to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Everton Women at Walton Hall Park on Sunday.

It was the fourth win on the trot to Manchester City who now have 22 points for second place in the Women’s Super League as it heads into the winter break. Chelsea leads the table with 25 points from their 10 games this season.

Shaw, who missed a chance to put City ahead from the penalty spot in the eighth minute made amends just a minute later. Played in by Leila Ouahabi, Shaw spotting Brosnan off her line, dinked the ball over the goalkeeper from distance.

The Jamaican forward would double the lead in the 22nd minute when she turned away from her marker expertly before firing low into the far corner.

It didn’t take long for a third to come, three minutes, in fact following an eye of the needle pass from Hui Hasegawa found Chloe Kelly in behind, who cuts it back into the path of the onrushing Jill Roord, who buries the shot to give Manchester City a 3-0 half-time lead.

Everton pulled one back in the 56th minute when Aurora Galli’s vicious first-time drive left goalkeeper Khiara Keating with no chance, rifling off the post and into the top corner from the edge of the box.

However, Shaw restored City’s three-goal advantage when she scored brilliant diving header that caresses the ball back across the goal and into the far corner from Alex Greenwood’s corner to secure her team’s seventh victory of the season.



Manchester City came from a goal behind to beat Women’s Super League rivals Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute as Alex Greenwood handled inside the area, with Katie Zelem slotting home to put them a goal up.

City were not behind for long and turned the game on its head with two goals inside a minute as Jill Roord slotted home the equaliser before Lauren Hemp curled in superb fashion from outside the area to make it 2-1.

The visitors ensured the three points as Khadija Shaw closed down a back-pass to Mary Earps, with the goalkeeper’s clearance bouncing off Shaw and going into the net to rubber-stamp the triumph.

Despite Laia Aleixandri’s second bookable offence for a foul on Lucia Garcia, City held on to move above United in the WSL.

Elsewhere, Arsenal secured their sixth win in all competitions with a convincing 3-0 victory over Brighton thanks to goals from Stina Blackstenius, Caitlin Foord and Frida Maanum.

Bristol City twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Everton at Walton Hall Park while Tottenham’s unbeaten run continued with a 1-1 draw against Leicester.

Rachel Daly scored in stoppage time to help secure Aston Villa their second win of the season with a 3-2 victory over West Ham.

Reggae Girlz striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw continues to soak up compliments from her Manchester City family, as England international Alex Greenwood is the latest to praise her all-round abilities and believes the high profile Jamaican international can become the best player in the world.

Shaw, 26, has significantly impacted City Women’s team since signing with the north England club two years ago. Last season, the towering striker amassed 31 goals across all competitions which has propelled her to the pinnacle as the club’s leading scorer.

Last weekend, Shaw netted her first goals of the new Women’s Super League season with a double against Bristol City, adding to her FA Women’s League Cup goal against Everton earlier in the week.

And if manager Gareth Taylor’s sentiments about how influential Shaw is to the team wasn’t enough, Greenwood added her voice to the chorus.

“Her goal record speaks for itself, but Bunny is so much more than goals. What she brings to the team in terms of play, her work off the ball, and off the pitch – she is a top person. I think she can be the best in the world if she wants to be. She has all the attributes to be the best in the world, I know how hard she works in training,” Greenwood declared.

“It’s the reason she’s flourishing right now. She’s been really strong for us so we just need to keep feeding her, keep giving her the ball and the rest she’ll take care of. She’s a great person to be around and a really good friend of mine as well. She is someone I can demand really high standards of, and likewise she can of me and everyone else,” the 30-year-old centre back added.

Shaw first made her mark professionally with FC Bordeaux in 2019. During her time there, she scored 34 goals and won the Golden Boot, as she assisted the French club to Champions League qualification.

It came as no surprise when she moved to City where she made her mark in her first season in which she tallied with 16 goals.

Now installed as City’s point player in attack, following the retirement of veteran Ellen White, Shaw, with 24 goals in the league last term, broke the club’s record for the most Women’s Super League goals in a season.

Taylor reiterated his admiration for the Jamaican.

“I’m super proud of Bunny and all the players are. She understands the support and help she gets here to allow her to be herself. I think what she’s done is remarkable, really – to go from the first game of the season scoring and not really have a dry spell at all, maybe a couple of games,” Taylor said.

“She’s continued to score goals. She’s certainly a proven goalscorer, but it’s the types of goals she’s getting now and everything else she brings to us in the games. Her hold up play is phenomenal,” he noted.

Shaw’s could add to her tally when Manchester City visit Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Khadija “Bunny’ Shaw opened her account in the Women’s Super League this season, scoring twice in Manchester City’s 5-0 demolition of Bristol City Women at the Joie Stadium in Manchester.

Shaw, who scored her first goal of the season in Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Women’s League Cup on Wednesday, scored two first-half goals in the lopsided victory.

The Jamaican striker scored in the 38th minute and in stoppage time after Jill Roord had opened the scoring from a close-range header in the ninth minute moments after a Shaw shot cannoned off the cross bar.

Laia Aleixandri headed into the net in the 33rd  minute before Shaw’s header made it 3-0 five minutes later. Roord would score her second early in stoppage time before the Jamaican capped a dominant half with another header before the break.

Manchester City were unable to add to the score in the second half but it mattered little as Bristol City had few opportunities to cut into the lead with only two shots in the game, one of them on target. By contrast, Shaw had five shots in the first half alone for her side that took 24 shots in the game, 12 of which were on target.

City enjoyed 81 per cent of the possession against Bristol City, who remain winless after three games and sit at the bottom of the 12 team table.

Shaw could have added to her tally having missed a header from inside the box in the 89th minute and her shot from the six-yard box in stoppage time was saved by goalkeeper Ffion Morgan, who had replaced Carrie Jones at the interval.



Expectations are high that Reggae Girl Khadija “Bunny” Shaw will enjoy another successful campaign to help Manchester City in their push to possibly cop a silverware this season.

The 26-year-old is already off to a good start, as she scored her first goal of the new campaign in City’s 2-1 win over Everton in FA Women’s League Cup action on Wednesday.

With a goal coming in her first start of the season, Shaw is expected to again lead the attack when Manchester City kick start Women’s Super League (WSL) action against Bristol City at Academy Stadium on Sunday.

With City currently third in the Women’s Super League standings on four points, Shaw said the expectations of her is no added pressure.

“No. No pressure. I love scoring goals and I always want to do my best to help the team,” she told SportsMax.TV.

Manager Gareth Taylor hailed the Jamaican for the leading role she has played since joining the club in 2021.

“She’s such an influential and a player the team looks to in terms of setting off everything we do whether it be attacking or without the ball,” Taylor said.

“She brings so much with her personality and the quality she has. It’s fantastic to have her back and nice for her to get off the mark so early in the season,” he added.

Shaw bagged 31 goals in all competitions last season which earned her City’s Player-of-the-Season award, as the club finished fourth in the league.

She then endured a busy summer, turning out for Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where the Caribbean side had an historic run to the round of 16 before bowing out to Colombia.

Shaw also featured in the Olympic qualifying playoff fixtures against Canada last month. She started in the home contest which the Girlz lost 0-2 but sat out the second leg encounter due to injury, as Canada won 2-1 in Toronto.

Taylor explained that Shaw needed to be managed properly once returning from international duty, which saw her miss the opener against West Ham, come off the bench against Chelsea before starting and playing an hour against Everton.

“Bunny had an unfortunate issue when she came back from Jamaica,” Taylor declared.

“The season she had last year and playing the role she did against Everton the other night, she created Jess Park’s goal and scored before we took her off,” he noted.


Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz battled bravely, but were unable to deny Canada, who registered a 2-1 scoreline in second-leg action of the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying playoff, on their return home at a sold-out BMO Field in Toronto, on Tuesday.

Unlike the first leg at Jamaica’s National Stadium where they were easy 2-0 winners, Canada, the reigning Olympic champions, came from behind on this occasion, to wrap up a 4-1 aggregate win and join United States as the confederation’s representatives in next year’s Paris Games.

Cloe Lacasse (39th) and substitute Jordyn Huitema (50th), did the damage for Bev Priestman’s side, after Drew Spence’s 33rd-minute strike offered Lorne Donaldson and his Reggae Girlz a glimmer of hope.

While Canada, by virtue of the win, also confirmed the second automatic spot in the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, the Jamaicans will have to quickly regain their confidence for meetings with Panama and Guatemala next month, which represents their opportunity to secure Gold Cup qualification.

Tuesday’s task for was always expected to be a difficult one for the Reggae Girlz, as Canada, playing at home for the first time in over a year, were brimming with confidence on the back of a two-goal advantage from the first leg.

Though Donaldson ringed in the changes, five to be exact, with talismanic striker Khadija "Bunny" Shaw and Jody Brown, out with injuries, it meant little to the Canadians, who went about business in a no-nonsense manner.

They required only two minutes to fire the first warning shot, as Adriana Leon unleashed from just outside the 18-yard box, but the effort was swallowed up by Rebecca Spencer, who produced another workmanlike performance in goal for Jamaica.

As Canada continued to show enterprise and mounted early pressure, the Reggae Girlz held their own defensively, as they ensured the opponent’s hunt for goals turned out fruitless at that point.

In fact, the Jamaicans were not without hope on the attacking front, and it was one of their occasional push forward that resulted in the opening goal.

Atlanta Primus’s initial effort from a distance was handled at the top of the arc by a defender and it was left for Spence to step up and convert a delightful free kick beating Kailen Sheridan diving full stretch to her right.

Canada launched a series of attacks in their probe for the equalizer and almost pulled level in the 35th, as a corner kick taken by Leon was headed on by Deneisha Blackwood. Fortunately for the Jamaican left-back, the crossbar was in the way.

The host again went close when Ashley Lawrence drove a stinging right-footer from a distance that Spencer tipped unto the crossbar and Primus, who dropped back to assist with defending, forced the ball out for a corner.

Leon served up a perfectly weighted delivery from the resulting corner and Lacasse rose above her markers to head home from close range to make it 1-1 heading into the break.

Though the Reggae Girlz were chasing the game, the manner in which they came out on the resumption said otherwise.

As such, their hopes of mounting a comeback were dented five minutes in, when Blackwood’s unforced error, allowed Lawrence to float a cross in for unmarked substitute Huitema to nod home.

Canada should have added another in the 62nd as another defensive error by captain Allyson Swaby, allowed another substitute, Christine Sinclair through on goal, but the legendary striker failed to add to her 190-goal tally, as her effort went straight at Spencer.

In the 72nd, Sinclair again found space in the 18-yard box for a right-footer that went just wide of the left upright.

The Girlz tried to play their game but were unable to cause any real problems in the attacking third. Instead, it was Canada, who asserted authority in the latter stages, and it took another big save from Spencer, who left her line well, to deny 19-year-old substitute Olivia Smith in time added.



Prince (18th), Leon (90+2)

Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz dreams of an historic Olympic Games qualification is all but up in smoke, as they suffered a 0-2 defeat to Canada in their first-leg playoff encounter at the National Stadium on Friday. 

Goals from Nichelle Prince in the 18th and the menacing Adriana Leon in the 90+2 minutes was enough to lift the Bev Priestman-coached reigning Olympic champions to a crucial advantage heading into Tuesday's second leg which will be played before a sold-out crowd at BMO Field in Toronto.

For Lorne Donaldson and his Girlz it will be a case of pulling off the improbable win in a hostile environment, if they are to progress.

The Girlz started out fairly disciplined, as they were quick on the ball and did well to contain Canada in the early exchanges. 

In fact, the Girlz looked more threatening in opening play, but their first real chance in the final third came from Deneisha Blackwood’s teasing 10th-minute free kick, which had to be mopped up by the Canadian defenders. 

Such was the Girlz discipline when they gradually gained the ascendancy that Canada was hardly allowed to play their usual fluent passing game to get into the final third.

Instead, they were on the back foot and almost found themselves a goal down in the 14th minute. This, as Jody Brown was sent on the break by Atlanta Primus, but the diminutive forward’s shot was charged down by a defender. 

All the Reggae Girlz hard work was undone in the 18th when poor positioning by Blackwood allowed Ashley Lawrence to slip further down the right channel and deliver a weighted cross, which was expertly headed in by Prince, giving Rebecca Spencer no chance at a save.

Still, the Girlz fought on and again went close in the 29th courtesy of Brown, who orchestrated a tidy build up and picked out Cheyna Matthews on the left, but the run amounted to nothing.

Matthews again went on the break five minutes later, as she shook her defender and should have initially struck a left footer, but was hesitant in doing so. When she belatedly got a shot off her favoured right foot, her marker had already recovered and averted the danger.

Though the score remained unchanged at half-time, the Jamaicans seemingly failed to recover from the manner in which they ended the first half. A defensive lapse immediately on the resumption allowed Leon through on goal and it took a tidy save from Spencer to deny her.

Canada again went close from the resulting corner with Prince's effort from the top of the 18-yard box rattling the crossbar. 

By virtue of pushing a high line in their probe for the equalizer, the Girlz absorbed some amount of pressure from Canada's break, as Leon got by Konya Plummer a couple of times but found Spencer in her way.

The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper did her utmost best to keep the Girlz in the game as she was again called upon when Cloe Lacasse got away down the left channel in the 64th and struck a left-footed effort which Spencer had to parry at her near post.

The Girlz had their best chance of the second half a minute later when substitute Tiffany Cameron’s shot from a rebound went just over the crossbar, after Khadija “Bunny” Shaw's initial effort was thwarted by Vanessa Gilles. 

But just when the moderate turnout in the stadium may have harboured a glimmer of hope that the Girlz would pull one back, Leon broke their hearts with a cheeky finish at Spencer’s near post from a Julia Grosso cross to put Canada 2-0 up.

Despite being down, the Jamaicans continued the push to at least reduce the deficit, but when Plummer fired a tame left-footed effort straight at Canada’s goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, deep inside added time, it all but summed up their lukewarm evening.

Teams: Jamaica -Rebecca Spencer, Allyson Swaby, Konya Plummer, Tiernny Wiltshire, Deneisha Blackwood, Vyan Sampson, Drew Spence, Jody Brown (Solai Washington 55th), Atlanta Primus (Kayla McKenna 71st), Cheyna Matthews (Tiffany Cameron 55th), Khadija Shaw

Subs not used: Sydney Schneider, Liya Brooks, Sashana Campbell, Chantelle Swaby, Kameron Simmonds, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Trudi Carter, Shaneil Buckley, Paige Bailey-Gayle

Booked: None

Canada -Kailen Sheridan, Sydney Collins, Kadeisha Buchanan, Rebecca Quinn, Ashley Lawrence (Gabby Carle 82nd), Vanessa Gilles, Nichelle Prince (Jordyn Huitema 64th), Jessie Fleming (Julia Grosso 79th), Adriana Leon, Cloe Lacasse, Jade Rose (Shelina Zadorsky 79th)

Subs not used: Lysianne Proulx, Sabrina D'Angelo, Olivia Smith, Marie-Yasmine Alidou, Evelyne Viens, Christine Sinclair, Simi Awujo, Bianca St-Georges 

Booked: Gillies (54th), Grosso (90+5)

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Assistant referees: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA); Felisha Mariscal (USA)

Fourth official: Natalie Simon (USA)

Match Commissary: Techell McLean (SKN)

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