Jamaica’s young Reggae Girls began their CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship campaign in thrilling fashion with a 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Tuesday at Catherine Hall Stadium.
This means that Jamaica now sits at the top of Group A with three points. Mexico and Haiti drew 1-1 earlier in the day, leaving them level in second place.
On the attacking end, Robyn-Anne Whittaker was a standout player for the Reggae Girlz.
In the third minute of first-half stoppage time, she burst straight into the heart of the Salvadoran defense and slipped an inspired pass to Asia Lee-Fat, who was positioned just to her right. The 16-year-old forward took a separating touch and blasted a shot into the lower-left corner to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes after the break Lee-Fat made it 2-0, tapping in a rebound off a Khadija Shaw effort from 18-yards out that struck the right post.
The girls seemed vibrant and were knocking on the door throughout the first half, but some intelligent defending and the woodwork prevented them from increasing the score.
Jamaica’s Whittaker, proved to be extremely difficult to contain.
After missing from the right side of the box, she cracked another attempt off the right post in the 14th minute. Four minutes before the break, the U.S.-based forward got a foot on a loose ball in box, forcing a save from Salvadoran goalkeeper Eleonor Zelaya.
The Central Americans saw their scoring chances limited mostly to set pieces.
Team captain Sandra Cortez sent a long-distance free kick high in the 26th minute and had another share the same fate early in first-half stoppage time.
A long-distance try by active left-sided midfielder Brenda Ceren in the 80th minute was El Salvador’s only shot of the second half.
In last minute of regulation time, Lee-Fat came close to completing a hat-trick, only to see Zelaya dive to her right for a stunning stop.
Jamaica is now unbeaten in four of its last five CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship outings and will look to improve on its form against Haiti on Friday evening at 6 pm.
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