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Women’s World Cup: Jamaica hold France to historic goalless draw

Jamaica create a historic upset in the opening match of Group F by holding one of the tournament favourites, France to a goalless draw.

WWC23 FRANCE JAMAICA, Deneisha Blackwood left and Solai Washington of Jamaica copyright: xBIANCAxDExMARCHIx

In a stunning turn of events at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Jamaica’s football history reached new heights as they held France, one of the tournament favorites, to a remarkable goalless draw. The magnitude of this achievement was not lost on Jamaica manager Lorne Donaldson, who hailed it as “the number one result” for his country’s football, surpassing any previous feats achieved by both the men’s and women’s teams.

“It’s a real victorious feeling for us,” said player of the match Deneisha Blackwood, while her manager hailed it as the greatest football result for any Jamaica team.

“I would say it is the number one result we have had so far,” said Donaldson. “The number one result, men or women.”

France struggled to break down disciplined Reggae Girlz

Amid heavy rain at the Sydney Football Stadium, France, under the guidance of Hervé Renard, struggled to break down a disciplined Jamaican defense, with the only dampener for the Reggae Girlz being the late dismissal of their captain, Khadija Shaw. Nevertheless, the jubilant mood was palpable among the Jamaican players and fans alike, as they secured their first-ever point at a Women’s World Cup.

Hervé Renard and Les Bleus not yet panicking despite result

For France, the outcome was less than ideal, as they now face the challenge of regrouping for their upcoming clash with fellow Group F favorites, Brazil, on July 29. Despite coming close to scoring on several occasions, including a near-post drive from Kadidiatou Diani saved by Becky Spencer and a deflected effort that flashed just past the post, Les Bleues couldn’t find the breakthrough against a resilient Jamaican backline.

“I’ve won competitions after drawing the first games,” said Renard. “I don’t think we should be getting ahead of ourselves. What’s important is to be solid. We are going to look to find and gain what we came to do.”

Renard acknowledged the tenacity of the Jamaican defense, which pressed hard and effectively blunted France’s attacking prowess. While he wasn’t entirely satisfied after the first half, he praised his players for their improved performance in the second half. Renard emphasized the importance of solidity in their gameplay and expressed confidence in achieving their tournament goals.

“I wasn’t satisfied after the first half, but congratulated them after the second. Sometimes in these games you have to be happy with a draw, rather than being ambushed by the other team,” he added.

Drawing comparisons with his previous managerial triumphs, such as Saudi Arabia’s shock win over Argentina at the men’s World Cup, Renard maintained that this result was entirely different, deserving of a French victory. Despite facing disappointment as the other side of an upset, he underscored the belief that his team had the upper hand, not allowing any significant chances for the Jamaican attack.

More to come from the 2023 Women’s World Cup?

As the 2023 Women’s World Cup continues to deliver thrilling encounters and unexpected outcomes, Jamaica‘s heroic display against France will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the tournament’s standout moments. While the Reggae Girlz savor their momentous achievement, France must now look ahead to their crucial match against Brazil, where they’ll aim to bounce back and reaffirm their status as genuine contenders for the coveted title.

18+ | Please play responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial Content