Jamaica women’s football team progressed to the knockout stages of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the expense of South American powerhouse, Brazil, and have received plaudits from Usain Bolt.

The Reggae Girlz progressed out of a group that included both Brazil and France after picking up points in goalless draws against the two, as well as beating debutant, Panama, 1-0.

Athletics legend, Bolt, was on hand to congratulate his compatriots after they made history by reaching the Women’s World Cup second round for the first time.

The win couldn’t have come at a better time, a day after Emancipation Day in the country and four days before Independence Day.

The Caribbean nation will know their round of 16 opponents tomorrow when Group H draws to a close, which could be one of Colombia and Germany, who are still up for progression as group winners.

Needing a point to go through, the Reggae Girlz barely threatened to score but were tight in defence, repelling wave after wave of Brazilian attacks in a frenetic atmosphere at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Brazil coach Pia Sundhage started Marta for the first time in her sixth World Cup but the iconic forward bowed out in disappointment.

France had to come from behind to see off Panama 6-3 and win Group F, thereby booking a clash with the Group H runners-up.

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