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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Colombia Reaches Quarters by Eliminating Jamaica 1-0

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Colombia Reaches Quarters by Eliminating Jamaica 1-0

Colombia defeated Jamaica 1-0 to go to the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals against England. Catalina Usme, who captained Colombia in Melbourne, scored the game-winning goal in the 51st minute. It was Jamaica’s first goal of the tournament after 321 minutes of play, and they were unable to respond. Colombia has reached the last eight of the Women’s World Cup for the first time. This was a game about the next generation, about two teams rewriting their football histories.

Both appeared to be burdened down by the chance early on, with a first half dominated by fouls rather than attempts. Linda Caicedo fired over on the bend from six yards on 38 minutes, the clearest first-half chance. But Colombia’s young, energetic side is nearly hard to restrain. While Caicedo has received a lot of attention this season, it was another 18-year-old that set the winner in motion.

Ana Maria Guzman started her maiden World Cup game in place of the suspended Manuela Vanegas. The absence of Vanegas, who scored the game-winning goal against Germany, caused significant concern among Colombian media ahead of the match. But they didn’t have to worry because Guzman delivered a magical moment, a wonderful deep cross from the left that Usme took down and buried in the far corner. Colombia should have won the game, but Caicedo was denied by Jamaican goalkeeper Becky Spencer during a counter-attack, and Leicy Santos struck the post.

While much has been made of Colombia and Caicedo and company, Jamaica’s World Cup success has been founded on their impregnable defense. They conceded 12 goals in three games in their debut in 2019. They entered this encounter in 2023 as the only team that had yet to concede.

They were the first Caribbean team to play in the knockout stages of any Fifa World Cup since Cuba in 1938, and the sole remaining Concacaf representative after the eliminations of Canada and the United States. They did not enable Colombia to generate any forward tempo easy.

Drew Spence infuriated the ardent Colombia fans who made up the great bulk of the Melbourne audience when she threw Caicedo to the ground late in the first half, earning the former England star a yellow card. Jamaica, on the other hand, struggled to generate, with striker Khadija Shaw – who scored 31 goals in 30 appearances for Manchester City last season – surviving on crumbs. Jody Brown hit the post with a close-range header almost immediately after Usme’s goal, giving them their best chance. They also came within eight minutes of winning when Spence headed barely wide.

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