EDINBURG, Texas -- Jamaica finds itself only one win away from reaching the FIFA Women's World Cup for the very first time.
The Caribbean side qualified for the semifinals for the first time, at the 2018 concacaf Women's Championship at H-E-B Park on Thursday night. Its 9-0 victory over Cuba (0W-0D-3L, 0 points), coupled with Canada's 3-0 win past Costa Rica in the Group B finale, propelled the Reggae Girlz (2-0-1, 6) into the final four.
Las Ticas (1W-0D-2L, 3), who participated in the 2015 Women's World Cup, were eliminated from the competition.
Jody Brown recorded a hat-trick and Sashana Campbell added a brace to pace Jamaica, which secured its second consecutive shutout. Khadija Shaw, Deneisha Blackwood, Christina Chang and Marlo Sweatman also scored goals.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Costa Ricans needed three points to reach the semifinals but fell short as Canada (3W-0D-0L, 9) secured the group title.
Janine Beckie, Nichele Price and Christine Sinclair (her 175th international goal) found the net for the Canadians, who outscored their group-stage opposition, 17-1.
The Maple Leafs will face Panama, the Group A runner-up, in Frisco, Texas on Sunday night. The United States, which secured the group title, will meet Jamaica, which will try to become the first Caribbean team to qualify for the Women's World Cup. The semifinal winners will book spots at France 2019 as will the winner of the third-place match also qualifying. The fourth-place side will play Argentina for a spot in the world championship.