After Jamaica clinched a spot in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup at the expense of soccer giants Brazil on Wednesday, one reporter suggested it made the Reggae Girlz the “Cinderella team” of the tournament.
Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson, who rolled around the Melbourne pitch in celebration of the scoreless draw that secured their passage to the knockout rounds for the first time, was not certain how suitable the analogy was.
“Cinderella wears a pretty dress, so I don’t know,” he laughed.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time. If we can wear a pretty dress, we’ll put it on.”
There were plenty of other fairytales in the first two weeks of the tournament with Morocco, South Africa, Norway and co-hosts Australia the big group-stage winners.
The losers? Germany, Brazil, Canada, the other co-hosts New Zealand, and China.
Morocco were expected to make an early exit as the 72nd-ranked team, but bounced back from a 6-0 defeat in their opener to become the lowest ranked side ever to make the knockout round with their 1-0 win over Colombia in Perth.
They still needed South Korea to prevent a Germany win in Thursday’s other group match and had a few nervous moments while waiting for the final whistle in Brisbane.
“We were praying, waiting for the result to come out of the Germany and Korea game,” said midfielder Anissa Lahmari. “It was a draw and afterwards it was a complete explosion of joy.”
The stunning upsets sent twice German champions packing in their first exit from the group stage in nine editions of the World Cup.
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