May 4, 2023 _ (Reuters) – Jamaica lost all three games and finished bottom of their group in their only previous Women’s World Cup appearance but defender Vyan Sampson says they are much more organised under new coach Lorne Donaldson and can spring a surprise this time around.
Jamaica were beaten by Brazil, Italy and Australia in the group stage of the 2019 tournament in France, conceding 12 goals and scoring only one.
They also lost all three games in the Cup of Nations tournament in February but Sampson said the team were making progress ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“Can we cause a shock or two? 100%,” Sampson told FIFA+ on Wednesday.
“We’re a strong and powerful team and we have speed in all areas of the pitch. That’s something that I think a lot of nations will be aware of when it comes to us.
“But we’ve also, with the help of our new and technical staff, really buckled down and become a much more organised team too … We’re a small nation, but we don’t fear anyone.”
Jamaica captain Khadija Shaw has been in fine form for Manchester City this season, leading the Women’s Super League with 18 goals in 19 games.
“I honestly think her name should be in the conversation for the world’s best,” Sampson said. “The fact we have her in our locker is another massive part of what makes us believe that we can do something at this World Cup.”
Jamaica are in Group F with France, Brazil and Panama at the World Cup, which will be held from July 20-Aug. 20.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)