Jamaica’s Young Reggae Girlz Finish Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship with a Dominant Victory over Panama

Jamaica’s young Reggae Girlz brought a ray of sunshine to their head coach Hugh Bradford, as they concluded their Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship campaign on a high note, delivering a resounding 4-1 victory over Panama at the Felix Sanchez Stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

In a commanding display, Natoya Atkinson (16th), Davia Richards (32nd), Maya Raghunandanan (37th), and Amelia Van Zanten (74th) all found the back of the net for Bradford’s side, while Meredith Rosas secured Panama’s consolation goal in the 79th minute.

With this win, the Girlz secured a third-place finish in Group A, accumulating three points by scoring four goals and conceding nine. They were positioned behind the United States and Canada, both of whom handed them identical 0-4 defeats. Unfortunately, Panama finished at the bottom of the standings without a single point.

The Reggae Girlz showcased their dominance throughout the match, playing with a newfound freedom and asserting their control over possession, particularly in the first half. Their attacking prowess was evident as they maintained a high line, surged forward with significant numbers, and constantly threatened Panama’s defense.


After several close attempts, the Girlz inevitably broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Atkinson coolly converted from close range, following Destiny Powell’s initial effort that rebounded off the crossbar.

Continuing their relentless pressure, it took until the half-hour mark for the Girlz to double their lead. Richards confidently converted from the penalty spot after Mireilis Rojas was deemed to have handled the ball inside the 18-yard box following a VAR review.

Panama, determined to play their game, displayed glimpses of their potential and managed a few promising build-ups but failed to register any shots on target.

Nevertheless, the Jamaicans extended their lead just before halftime through Raghunandanan, who seized upon a loose ball and fired a stunning one-time strike from distance past Panama’s goalkeeper, Alejandra Garay, making it 3-0.

Although Panama faced an uphill battle to overcome the deficit, they displayed more purpose in the attacking third after the break, with Sherline King forcing a fingertip save from Jamaica’s goalkeeper Katie Oakley in the 58th minute.

As the game progressed, the Central American side grew in confidence, especially when the young Reggae Girlz momentarily became complacent and overconfident.

However, the Jamaicans regained their composure and added a fourth goal through Van Zanten from the penalty spot, after the speedy Shaneil Buckley was brought down by Garay inside the penalty area.


Panama managed to respond shortly after, converting a penalty of their own from 12 yards. Substitute Andrene Smith fouled Aaliyah Gil in the box shortly after coming on, and Rosas calmly slotted the ball past Oakley.

In the closing stages, the Jamaicans had opportunities to increase their lead but lacked composure in the final third, while Oakley showcased her brilliance by denying Gil from long range four minutes before the final whistle.

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