Colombia shocked the footballing world as they topped Group H – finishing ahead of Morocco on goal difference, and sending Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s Germany on an early flight home. Their reward was a nail-biting round-of-sixteen tie against Jamaica, who themselves had drawn against Brazil on the final matchday to ensure they progressed in place of the Seleção.
COL: Pérez; Guzmán, D Árias, Carabalí, C Arias; Bedoya, Ospina; Caicedo, Santos, Ramírez; Usme
JAM: Spencer; Blackwood, C Swaby, A Swaby, Wiltshire; Sampson; Carter, Brown, Spence, van Zanten; Shaw
A relatively dull first half-hour or so lacked opportunities for either side to take the lead, though Jody Brown had squandered an early chance as she blazed an effort over the crossbar. Colombia did improve as the half progressed, with Carolina Arias looking to tee up Catalina Usme – though the latter’s cross into the area was collected comfortably by Rebecca Spencer.
With just minutes of the first half remaining, las Cafeteras looked destined to take the lead following Leicy Santos’ inswinging corner delivery. Mayra Ramírez was able to tee up Jorelyn Carabalí – but the defender was only able to launch her strike over the woodwork.
Merely minutes into the second half though, Colombia took the lead – putting one foot firmly into the quarterfinals, where they would face England. A throw-in taken on the left flank found Ana Guzmán, with the left-back then launching a perfectly-placed ball over the top for Catalina Usme inside the penalty area. The striker took a touch, taking time to compose herself before thundering a curling effort past Rebecca Spencer!
Colombia should have found their second minutes later though, as Leicy Santos swivelled on the ball before finding Linda Caicedo with a neat curling pass. The youngster’s effort was saved by Rebecca Spencer though, and the rebound deflected out for a goal-kick. The Real Madrid star was involved once again for her side, driving inside and curling a shot over the crossbar after receiving the ball wide on the left flank.
But with desperation growing for the Reggae Girlz, Tiffany Cameron darted past Ana Guzmán before lifting a cross into the box. Drew Spence was positioned well to meet it, but she thumped her header just wide of the post – allowing las Cafeteras to breathe a sigh of relief.
Despite their late efforts, Jamaica weren’t able to secure a late equaliser – and Lorne Donaldson’s Reggae Girlz bow out of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Scenes of pure elation within the las Cafeteras, as they now turn their attention to a quarterfinal tie against England.