Listen to article
The under-20 Reggae Girlz ended the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on a high after dismissing Panama 4-1 in their final group game on Tuesday.
The Girlz, whose chances of qualifying for the next round were dashed following consecutive defeats to Canada and the USA, salvaged some pride with a hammering of their own.
Goals from Natoya Atkinson, Davia Richards, and Maya Raghunandanan delivered a solid start for the Jamaicans in the first half.
Atkinson was in the right place at the right time to pounce on a rebounded shot off the post from an initial save for an easy tap to give the Jamaicans an 18th-minute lead.
Richards doubled that advantage exactly 16 minutes later with a rocket from outside the box to make it 2-0 after 32 minutes.
The celebrations had barely subsided before Raghunandanan’s 37th-minute strike revived cheers among the Jamaicans as they entered the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Despite a more defensive second half by the Panamanians, Amelia Van Zenten added Jamaica’s fourth in the 74th minute.
Meredith Rosas disrupted a Jamaican clean sheet with a 79th-minute consolation goal for Panama to make it an interesting final 10 minutes.
Despite the late concession, the result was never in doubt as the Girlz re-grouped and consolidated their lead until the final whistle.
The result means Jamaica moves up to third in Group A with three points as they mark their exit with a confident close, while Panama ends their tournament in the cellar of the group with zero points from three games.
The other group game on the day will see USA and Canada clash for group honours when they take the field for the late kick-off.
Both teams, are already qualified for the semifinal round after earning two wins respectively.