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‘We came under a lot of pressure’

Shaw lauds team for self-belief, unity

Published:Wednesday | July 13, 2022 | 12:11 AMPaul-Andre Walker/Sports Editor
Reggae Girlz captain Khadija Shaw celebrates scoring a goal against Haiti in a Concacaf Women’s Championship game at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey on Monday.
Reggae Girlz captain Khadija Shaw celebrates scoring a goal against Haiti in a Concacaf Women’s Championship game at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey on Monday.

JAMAICA CAPTAIN Khadija Shaw left another ode to team spirit with the media after the Reggae Girlz successfully navigated their second straight World Cup qualification campaign.

Shaw, speaking after the Reggae Girlz thumped Haiti 4-0 on their way to six points from Group A of the Concacaf Women’s Championship and a place in the semi-final of the competition, pointed to overcoming tough situations.

The Reggae Girlz went to Monterrey, Mexico, for the competition woefully short of practice and with a new coach after controversy saw to the short stint of Vin Blaine.

Blaine had successfully taken the Reggae Girlz through qualification for the championships, going unbeaten over the course of four games but all was not well.

Shaw, and the majority of the squad asked for the coach to be removed on the grounds of falling short in a number of competencies.

Blaine resigned and the Girlz were left without a coach and very little time to succeed.

There were those who believed their tirade for a new coach was ill-timed.

It was with that weight that the Reggae Girlz went to the championships under new coach Lorne Donaldson.

There was trepidation that the Girlz had not had a practice match ahead of the competition and the coach was worried over their fitness.

Still, history has been made and the Reggae Girlz will be in Australia and New Zealand next year for the World Cup finals.

“It means a lot. Especially at the beginning of the campaign, we came under a lot of pressure,” said Shaw, rehashing what were no longer painful memories.

Now they were life’s teachers.

“But we just stuck together, we held our composure and we knew that once we stick together and play our game at the end of the day, we would be victorious,” said Shaw.

Shaw would lead from the front, scoring a brace in the 59th and 70th minutes and even setting up Trudy Carter’s 26th-minute opener with some slick movement and a nifty pass to boot.

Drew Spence scored Jamaica’s fourth goal in the 79th.

What was the lesson from the difficult experiences of the last two months?

“I think it just goes to show that we are a small island but we can do big things.”

paul-andre.walker@gleanerjm.com