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Jamaica edges Panama, earns first Women’s World Cup berth (video)

Panama v Jamaica: Third Place Match - CONCACAF Women's Championship

FRISCO, TX - OCTOBER 17: Sheyla Diaz #16 celebrates her game winning goal with goalkeeper, Onelys Alvarado #13 of Jamaica during the CONCACAF Women’s Championship third place match at Toyota Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Jamaica is joining the United States and Canada as CONCACAF representatives in this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France after a thrilling 2-2 draw gave way to penalty kicks in Wednesday’s third place match at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

It’s a first World Cup for the Reggae Girlz, who won 4-2 in kicks.

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Jamaica held a pair of leads but allowed equalizers in regulation and extra time to push the match into kicks.

That’s when Jamaica coach Merron Gordon rolled the dice, subbing out goalkeeper Sydney Schneider in favor of Nicole McClure.

The backup saved two of four Panama attempts, and Sheyla Diaz buried her attempt to clinch a spot in France.

Panama can still qualify via a two-legged playoff with CONMEBOL’s Argentina, so there’s still hope for one of the great stories in women’s soccer (headlined by 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey).

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