Day 19: Flying Seagulls at the AAMI
Colombia and France complete our quarter-final set
Colombia 1 - Jamaica 0
Jamaica’s miraculous run to the World Cup knockout stages came to an end after they were knocked out by a Catalina Usme goal which saw Colombia reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in their history. It was a tense match with few chances between the two teams, both of whom had no qualms about letting their opponents know they were there. In the end, it felt like Colombia just had that extra technical edge which gave them the advantage.
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Colombia were without Manuela Vanegas due to a disciplinary suspension and it was clear early on how much that was limiting them in attack. It was a solid performance from her replacement, 18 year old Ana Maria Guzman, but it enabled Jamaica to double team Linda Caicedo. Whilst Caicedo showed her flair on more than a couple of occasions, she did not have that same support provided from Vanegas’ runs to get forward.
Bunny Shaw meanwhile regularly found herself surrounded by four Colombian players and over time, her frustration grew. Jamaica were struggling to get the ball to her and when she did manage to receive it, she lacked support. Despite an excellent performance once again from Drew Spence, it felt like the Jamaican players were not quite on the same wavelength.
The breakthrough came at the start of the second half when Colombia began to switch the ball quicker to exploit the space on the right hand side of the pitch. In the end, a ball sailed over the head of Deneisha Blackwood, allowing Catalina Usme to cut in and finish.
It was fitting that it was Usme who scored. Lots of focus on this Colombian team has centred on their younger players like Caicedo and Mayra Ramirez but Usme, at 33 years old, has seen women’s football transformed in her country. She has played in every single World Cup they have participated in and has had an important role during the tournament as she has dovetailed with Ramirez to create that fluid attacking structure which has looked so dangerous.
Jamaica seemed reluctant or unable to really go for it as the minutes ticked away with Bunny Shaw trying to find space out wide but then seeing no one in the box when she crossed in. Spence had one good headed chance and the game finished out with Becky Spencer arguing with the coaching team about whether she should go up for a final corner. In the end, it was a heroic effort from a Jamaican side who deserve so much more support but Colombia just looked too good.
France 4 - Morocco 0
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