The journey to the nation’s first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament is still fresh in the hearts of many Jamaican fans. With a few members of the current Reggae Girlz squad among the group who went to France in 2019, the group still has an air of confidence as they begin to navigate the qualification rounds. The Girlz have an opportunity to repeat that feat and qualify for a second consecutive World Cup tournament, but they must first clear their first major hurdle in the form of neighbors, the Dominican Republic.
To the negligent eye, the Reggae Girlz might seem well on their way to proceed to the next round of World Cup qualifications. However, despite resounding 4-0 and 6-1 victories over Bermuda and Grenada respectively, the Girlz still lie in second place in Group C, behind Dominican Republic who they will face in the next window on April 12.
The task is simple, beat Dom. Rep and seize control of the group. Lose, or even draw, and leave the possibility of qualification in the hands of the team that is ranked 113th in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
The Dominican Women’s team started in devastating fashion, thumping Grenada 9-0 on opening day and scoring four goals without reply against the Cayman Islands just three days later. This means that they have a positive goal difference of 13, seven more than Jamaica.
Hence, the matchup at Independence Park next month will be crucial as both teams will be vying for a victory to strengthen their chances of proceeding to the next round.
If the team is to overcome the Dominicans, the finishing will have to improve. The Girlz have been accused of wasting too many chances in front of goal in recent games. They had numerous opportunities to take their goalscoring count against Grenada into double digits but unfortunately those chances were not taken, thus losing out on a chance to lessen the goal difference gap between the Jamaicans and Dom. Rep.
When the two teams meet, expect a cagey affair, a game in which both teams will give very little away defensively. Tactically, the team has performed smoothly so far under Vin Blaine but given this is a top-of-the-table clash, it will come down to which team manages to take their chances. With the Hispanic country’s low ranking and Jamaica boasting home advantage, the Reggae Girlz will come out as favourites on the day but only a fool would write the Dominicans off.