Winning penalty gave me confidence – Bond-Flasza
National defender Dominique Bond-Flasza secured Jamaica's historic qualification for the FIFA Women's World Cup when she scored the winning penalty against Panama in the third- place match of the CONCACAF Women's Championship last October. She says her feat has given her the self-confidence that she can take on the best in the world at next month's tournament in France.
"Going into that penalty, I felt a lot of confidence, because the coaches had made us practice the walk up, and then actually taking the penalty kicks," Bond-Flasza told STAR Sports at a special World Cup send-off luncheon held for the Reggae Girlz by sponsors Supreme Ventures, at the Embassy of France in St Andrew yesterday.
"So I knew going into it, I was prepared, I knew what to do. I felt a sense of calmness just because (goalkeeper) Nicole McClure had saved two penalty kicks before that, so to me, it was a sense of relief, almost, walking up to the penalty spot.
"I would say it instilled a lot of confidence, just because that's what propelled us into the World Cup. It gave me the sense that 'If I can accomplish this, then what else can I accomplish?' and it really just motivated me to want to work hard and to do my best in this upcoming World Cup."
Bond-Flasza plays her club football for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie Vrouwen, the Dutch women's first division. She says her time spent in The Netherlands is helping her to prepare to face European conditions and opponents, such as Italy, whom Jamaica have in Group C.
"The Netherlands are also in the World Cup, so I've also gotten to play against a lot of the girls who are gonna be competing in that tournament, so it kinda gave me an edge."
The Jamaicans also face Australia and Brazil, who will be led by Marta, whom many believe is one of the best to ever play women's football. For this reason, Bond-Flasza is looking forward to that game, which starts their campaign on June 9 at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.
"I idolised Marta, growing up, and now she's a rival," she said. "That's really exciting. That's a huge idol in women's football, and to be on the same field going up against her, I'm really excited about that."
The FIFA Women's World Cup takes place from June 7 to July 7.