Reggae Girlz pay the penalty at CAC Games
Jamaica's Reggae Girlz suffered a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss against Venezuela after missing two penalties, one inside the final minute, in the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games football opener at the Estadio Julio Torres Moderno here yesterday afternoon.
"I haven't been in a game like this in a long time where we had every opportunity to win it, and should have won it, and we find a way to lose it," said head coach, Lorne Donaldson.
Jamaica's go-to player and top striker, Khadija Shaw - who got injured as her ankle twisted into the astro turf at the fifth minute - was at one time the hero, but ended up being the villain. Shaw scored at the 14th to give the Jamaicans the lead, taking a pass off Sashawna Campbell on the right side of the penalty box, from where she angled a grounder across Venezuela's captain and goalkeeper, Lisbeth Castro, into the far side of the net.
The latter would later gain the upper hand in her battle against the towering Jamaica striker when she saved penalties taken by Shaw at the 74th and 93rd minutes. Both attempts were sidefooted to either side of Castro, who dived to comfortably save the knee-height spot kicks.
To make matters worse, the second Venezuelan goal was conceded after a low free kick eluded goalkeeper Chris-Ann Chambers' diving attempt, to squeeze into the net. Before that, Chambers was having a good game.
Shortly after Castro saved Shaw's penalty and denied Jamaica the lead for a second time, the Venezuelans were reduced to 10 players after Nubiluz Rangel, the last defender, brought down Shaw from behind.
Jamaica, without a point, will play their next game against Costa Rica tomorrow before tackling hosts Colombia on Monday. The top two from the four-team group will advance.