It was one of those miserable Texas days when the sun never comes out and you’re not entirely sure where the sky ends and the clouds begin. It was cold and it was rainy. It was a far cry from typical weather back in Kingston — but it was the greatest day in the history of the Jamaica women's national team.
Jamaica defeated Panama 4-2 in a shootout after a 2-2 draw in the third-place match of the Concacaf Women’s Championship to clinch the region’s final automatic berth to the 2019 women’s World Cup on Wednesday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
The USWNT booked passage to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with an imperious 6-0 victory over Jamaica on Sunday night, and setup a much-anticipated CONCACAF Women’s Championship final against Canada in the process.
With automatic qualification hanging in the balance, the U.S. raced out to a 5-0 lead by the 33rd minute, and it would be ridiculous to single out an individual for praise in the face of such overall team excellence.
Panama kept Canada in check for 44 minutes Sunday, but a seven-goal, 34-minute spell ended the Central American’s hopes of an astonishing upset at the semifinal stage of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. By advancing to the final, Canada secured automatic qualification to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, where it’ll look to improve on a quarterfinal showing at the 2015 finals on home soil.
With the scores level at 2-2 in an ACC game between Duke (No. 11 in the country) and Clemson, Blue Devils senior midfielder Taylor Racioppi struck what would prove to be the match-winner in the 77th minute from 24 yards out.
Using the outside of her boot to full effect, Racioppi put some fiendish swaz on her effort, which took an extremely pleasant banana route inside the far post. The first time you see it, you’ll want to celebrate just like Racioppi did.