By Mason Cavalier
Boyds, Md. – Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews recorded her first two international caps over the past week as a member of the Jamaican Women’s National Team. She started both games for the World Cup-bound Reggae Girlz as they swept a pair of friendlies against Chile.
The World cup debutants used the friendlies as a final opportunity to prepare for the 2019 Women’s World Cup as both teams have no fixtures remaining until the beginning of the competition.
Matthews earned a starting spot in the first match-up and was called upon again by head coach Hue Menzies for the fixture on Sunday night. Matthews played a strong 45 minutes before being subbed off for former Spirit teammate Havana Solaun at halftime.
The game was off to a rough start for Jamaica as Maria José Rojas of Chile scored broke open the scoring in the 21st minute with a right-footed shot. Jamaica responded strongly however, equalizing just two minutes later in the 23rd minute via Khadija Shaw’s right-footed finish into the bottom right corner. Shaw struck again in the 32nd minute to give Jamaica a 2-1 advantage heading into halftime. Chile fired back to make it 2-2 in the 58th, but fell short of a comeback after a goal courtesy of 16-year-old Jody Brown in the 76th minute gave the Reggae Girlz a 3-2 victory.
Jamaica will appear in the 2019 FIFA World Cup in group C with Italy, Brazil and Australia. It will be Jamaica’s first-ever appearance in the FIFA World Cup, earned via a third-place finish in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship last fall.