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  • Ellis Gelios

Jamaica's jostle for shock draw against France maintains underdog theme at Women's World Cup

When Khadija Shaw received her marching orders in the dying embers of last night's gripping spectacle between France and Jamaica at the FIFA Women's World Cup, hopes that the world's 43rd best women's team could pull off a stunning upset began to fade.

Photo credit: Jamaica Football Federation Facebook page

However, even with their famous talisman, who plies her trade for world-famous English Women's Super League club Manchester City now absent from the field, the Jamaicans rallied and held on to secure a heroic scoreless draw against the 2019 tournament hosts.

Last night's result added to the catalogue of unexpected results at this year's instalment of the showpiece event for women's football currently being jointly presented to the footballing world by Australia and New Zealand.

Since the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup got underway last Thursday in Auckland, some of the tournament's traditional heavyweight nations have struggled to put away lesser fancied opposition teams.

A dogged Nigerian outfit managed to contain Canada last Friday, with the Canadians ranked as the world's seventh best side in comparison to Nigeria sat in 40th position.

Meanwhile, it took a penalty for the Matildas to overcome the Republic of Ireland last week in front of a sold-out Sydney crowd, with the 1-0 win for the co-hosts sparing what would have been a shock result for 10th-placed Australia, with the Irish ranked outside the world's top 20 teams.

If not for co-hosting the tournament, one could make the argument that New Zealand had no business beating Norway in the tournament's opening fixture.

As well as being one of only four nations to ever win the FIFA Women's World Cup since its inception in the early nineties, the Norwegians are ranked 12th while the Kiwis are sat at 26th position.

The current trend of tournament heavyweights underperforming could continue tonight in South Australia.

Brazil - a giant of the men's game and boasting the Women's World Cup's all-time goal scorer in Marta, are still searching for their maiden World Cup crown and will lock horns with tournament debutants Panama at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.

Germany are the second most successful nation in history on the women's stage having secured two titles in 2003 and 2007.

They'll have to overcome Morocco in Melbourne tonight, one of the tournament's eight debutant nations and the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations finalists and hosts.

Despite Morocco's impressive showings in 2022, the nation is ranked 72 in the world by FIFA and will have their work cut out against formidable opposition this evening.


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