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Jamaica opens CWC with Group B win over Martinique
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Christina Murray (#11) scored two goals in Jamaica's 6-0 win over Martinique in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on October 16, 2014, in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Donnakay Henry and Christina Murray scored two goals apiece as Jamaica posted a 3-0 win over Martinique in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship (CWC) opener for both on Thursday at Sporting Park.

The result gives the Reggae Girlz temporary possession of first place in Group B with Costa Rica and Mexico set to meet later in the evening. 

It was the Caribbean runner-up’s second victory in 14 all-time CWC outings, waiting nearly eight years to emerge victorious again, last winning against Panama 2-0 on November 19, 2006.

The outstanding Shakira Duncan and second-half substitute Alexa Allen added a goal each.

Jamaica took a 1-0 lead in the second minute and never looked back.  Murray netted her first after Duncan dribbled into the left side of the box and played a short cross for the 25-year-old midfielder to touch home.

Duncan doubled the advantage nine minutes later, once again accelerating into the left side of the box and slotting in from close range. 

The Jamaicans kept attacking down the left, making it 3-0 thanks to Henry’s relentless play.  She ran on to a long ball down the left, dribbled into the box and rounded goalkeeper Cathy Bellune for a simple strike.

Martinique managed to keep the Jamaicans at bay for most of the second half with the exception of rough six-minute stretch that saw it concede three more times.

Allen fired inside the left post from 23-yards out in the 71st minute to put the game out of reach for all intents and purposes.

Three minutes later, in one of the best-crafted goals of the encounter, Duncan received a throw-in on the left and powered her way towards the goal.  Rather than shoot, she laid the ball off subtly for Murray to tap in.

Henry completed the scoreline in the 77th minute.  The Switzerland-based midfielder raced down the middle of the field, letting the ball get ahead of her slightly.  Duncan got to it and played a neat backheel to Henry, who found the back of the net with ease.

Jamaica returns to action Saturday against Costa Rica, while Martinique squares off against Mexico.  Both matches will be at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

NOTES: Jamaica did not participate in Caribbean or CONCACAF qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Martinique fell for the first time in three CWC matches to a Caribbean side (1-1-1) … Duncan scored 14 goals in Caribbean qualifying for the 2014 CWC … Jamaica scored only six goals in its previous 13 all-time CWC games combined.

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