Italy are in pole position to win Group C after a shocking win over Australia in their first match of the World Cup. The Blues look set to make their first appearance in the knockout rounds of this competition since its debut back in 1991, and they can lock up a spot with a win over Jamaica on Friday. The Reggae Girlz are making their World Cup debut, so they are hefty underdogs ahead of their second match.
- Date and Time: June 14, 2019, 12 p.m. ET
- Location: Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims, France
- US Television Coverage: FOX
- Betting Line: Italy -2 and -2.5, O/U 3 and 3.5
Jamaica’s World Cup debut was a rough one. They weren’t expected to put up much of a fight against Brazil, and they ended up suffering a 3-0 defeat. However, they played better than many observers expected despite the score line and there is reason to be encouraged. The overall statistics in this match were pretty even. Jamaica had 44 percent of the possession on the day, and they were able to put four shots on net compared to six shots on frame for Brazil. Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw had a great opener too despite failing to score. She created two great chances for herself, and she nearly scored Jamaica’s first-ever World Cup goal.
Italy are at their first Women’s World Cup in 20 years, and they got off to a great start on Sunday. They fell behind Australia 1-0 in the first half, but they made some changes in the second half to roar back and earn a 2-1 victory at the death. Two of Italy’s goals were overturned by VAR, but Barbara Bonansea rose to the occasion despite those frustrations. She netted in the ninth minute only to be ruled offside, yet she scored in the 56th minute to tie the match and again in the fifth minute of extra time to give Italy the victory.
Jamaican Player to Watch
Although she has yet to score and Jamaica have not earned a result, it’s been a great time in France for Shaw. She signed a contract with Division 1 Feminine club Bordeaux last week, and that will allow Jamaica’s young star to season herself against the best Europe has to offer. Shaw has netted 31 goals in 24 matches for the Reggae Girlz, and if they happen to net against a stolid Italian back line, she is likely to be the reason.
Italian Player to Watch
Defense is the watchword for both Italian national teams. Over the last 18 months, Italy have allowed more than one goal only once. Captain Sara Gama is looking to keep that streak alive. The center back is the captain for both Italy and Juventus, and she has made her mark felt since her first appearance back in 2007. Gama could notch her 100th national team appearance in France, but she has to tread lightly in this match. She picked up a yellow card against Australia, so another yellow here would lead to a suspension.
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Jamaica vs. Italy Free Picks
I don’t think Jamaica will be able to pick up their first World Cup point, but I believe they will notch their first-ever goal on this stage. That should lead to joyous celebrations on the island, even if Italy takes the full three points from the match. The victory will see Italy through to the knockout rounds, where they are likely to receive a favorable draw.
Jamaica vs. Italy Prediction: Italy 3, Jamaica 1
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