Jamaica get a historic draw against France

Jamaica's Deneisha Blackwood is lifted after playing in a 0-0 draw during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between France and Jamaica at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Sophie Ralph)
Jamaica celebrated after playing out a historic draw in the Women’s World Cup against France. (AP Photo/Sophie Ralph)

Jamaica earned a 0-0 draw against France on Sunday, showing they are not the same side that made their World Cup debut four years ago and lost all three games.

They entered the game as underdogs, ranked 43rd in the world. Meanwhile, fifth-placed France are strong favorites for the title.

Although French striker Kadidiatou Diani created multiple attacking opportunities, the Reggae Girlz reduced France’s chances of winning Group F by holding them off. France now loses two points.

The result also gives Jamaica their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup point.

Jamaica had their best opportunity to score in the first half, a solid free kick from captain Khadija Shaw. Unfortunately, the team will be without her for their next two games as she received two yellow cards and was ejected from the game at the end of the second half.

Jamaica next meet Panama on July 29.

Sweden 2, South Africa 1

What looked set for another historic draw on Sunday turned into a late 2-1 win for world number 3 Sweden in the Group G game.

South Africa, ranked 54th, was also making their second appearance at the tournament. Similar to Jamaica, the team came out of the group stage in 2019 without scoring a single point.

During the match, played in pouring rain, Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt sealed the match with a winner in the 90th minute.

South Africa started strong, with Hildah Magaia scoring in the 48th minute, South Africa’s second goal in tournament history. She appeared to suffer an injury in that effort as she was later substituted and left the pitch in tears.

It was Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo who finally canceled Magaia’s opener in the 65th minute.

The Swedes are now top of the group, which could change when Italy and Argentina play on Monday.

Netherlands 1, Portugal 0

Making their World Cup debut, the Portuguese players were moved to tears as they heard their national anthem ahead of the landmark game. Despite the team fighting to the end, the experience of the Netherlands prevailed 1-0.

For Portugal, the loss will serve as motivation as they seek to continue in the tournament.

The team were unable to change momentum and take control after Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt gave the 2019 runners-up the lead with a goal in the opening 15 minutes.

With the three points, the Netherlands will face the USWNT and try their luck again in the 2019 final game.

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