SPREADING joy on and off the pitch at the Women’s World Cup, Jamaica and Colombia will battle for a quarterfinal place on Tuesday after partying with each other at a Sydney nightclub.
The Caribbeans and South Americans have plenty in common, not least a love of music and dancing.
Both teams have impressed with their football on the way to the last 16, thrilling legions of festive supporters at their matches.
For Jamaica, a pay dispute with the national federation still simmers in the background but the “Reggae Girlz” have not let that get in the way of a good time in Australia.
“I was in Sydney, our first game … we went to a club that night. At the bottom was Colombia partying. And at the top, it was Jamaica,” said the Reggae Girlz’ coach Lorne Donaldson.
“So we went down there, some Jamaicans trying to party with the Colombians and it was great.
“I think it makes it better that you have countries like this who enjoy life first.
“There are more important things in life than football.”
Jamaica have been the surprise package of the tournament, keeping clean sheets against France, Panama and Brazil to reach the knockout phase for the first time, in their second World Cup.
They will have their work cut out at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium defending against a Colombian attack boasting one of the game’s most exciting forwards in 18-year-old Linda Caicedo.
In the leadup to the tournament, the Jamaicans complained of money troubles and launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover costs.
Four years after crashing out of the 2019 World Cup in France with three heavy defeats, they came to Australia with low expectations and declined to set any goals.
Donaldson said that had not changed and they were still only focused on the match ahead of them.
However, he has charged his team with scoring against Colombia, after they managed only one goal in the group phase, a header by captain Allyson Swaby from a set-piece against Panama.
“I don’t think it’s a major concern to us,” said Donaldson of the lack of goals.
“I mean, we played some good teams, France and Brazil – two of the top teams in the world.
“To get through the group you have to do what you have to do.
“We have to try to score a goal to win this game because somebody will be knocked out.
“So we will put our best foot forward and hopefully, we can get something going on here with goals.” -SuperSport