Colombia pip 'proud' Jamaica to set up England clash at World Cup
MELBOURNE, Australia - Colombia reached the Women's World Cup quarter-finals for the first time and a clash with England after a 1-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, with France or Morocco poised to join them.
Skipper Catalina Usme scored the only goal of the game in Melbourne in the 51st minute, bringing the ball down expertly and bending it into the bottom corner.
It was the first time at the tournament that Jamaica had conceded a goal.
It set a cagey game alight and sent the pumping pro-Colombian crowd into deafening delirium.
Fired up, Jamaica almost had an immediate reply with Jody Brown's shot cleared off the line in a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Behind for the first time at the World Cup and facing the exit door, Jamaica abandoned their defensive posture and threw players forward frantically looking for the equaliser.
Drew Spence almost grabbed it with a header that spun just wide, but Colombia held on.
They will now play European champions England in Sydney on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals.
Jamaica bow out but made history of their own, winning a World Cup game for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Panama and holding heavily fancied Brazil and France to goalless draws.
But despite boasting the prolific Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw, Jamaica's lack of goals proved to be their undoing -- they scored just one all tournament, against Panama.
It was a victory, though, of sorts in the team's wider battle with their federation -- they hope their displays will mean more support in future from Jamaican football bosses.
"Now we're a bit low because we didn't want to end the tournament, but I'm proud of all my team-mates," said Shaw.
"A lot of people didn't think we were going to make it this far.
"It shows that if you believe and work hard, anything is possible."
- France wary of Morocco -
France, fifth in the FIFA world rankings, and Morocco kick off at 1100 GMT in Adelaide, with the winners facing Australia.
Morocco are appearing at their first World Cup and recovered from a 6-0 hammering by Germany to reach the last 16 with 1-0 wins over Colombia and South Korea.
Morocco are the lowest-ranked team left, 67 places below Herve Renard's France.
But Renard, who managed the Moroccan men's team for three years, is wary.
"Even when we have a kickabout with friends we want to win, and we are here to win and qualify for the next round," said the Frenchman.
"The important thing is that we respect our opponents and the fact that this is a last-16 tie at a World Cup.
"Morocco are not here by chance. This is a match of the same calibre as our game against Brazil."
France were held scoreless by Jamaica in their opening game before defeating Brazil 2-1 and Panama 6-3.
It will also be a special occasion for Renard's opposite number and countryman Reynald Pedros.
The Morocco coach is a former French international.
"There will be just one French coach left in the quarter-finals," Renard said.
"I hope it will be me." - AFP