Women's World Cup: 'It's way more than football' -- Jamaica's remarkable journey to France 2019

    Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to qualify for the Women's World Cup.

    (CNN)Late afternoon in Dallas and the Toyota Stadium in the city's suburbs is all but empty. Dotted around an otherwise sweep of vacant red and blue seats are a few hundred fans.

    In the lower bleachers, looking like the first specks of a pointillist painting, some supporters are wearing plastic ponchos, protecting themselves from the drizzling rain on what is a chilly October Wednesday. Though they create sound, the cheers and the cries are largely swallowed up into the ether.
    The majority of ticket-holders have yet to filter into the 20,000-seat arena for that evening's top-billed match between the US and Canadian national women's teams. It means only the few experience the drama and the history unfolding on the pitch as Jamaica and Panama engage in a stomach-churning penalty shootout.
      "No one was paying attention to us, so to speak, but it really wasn't about anything else but us," Jamaica goalkeeper Nicole McClure tells CNN Sport, remembering the match which would alter the course of women's football in her country.
        Deadlocked at 2-2 after 120 minutes, there was only one way to resolve the high-stakes third-place playoff which would determine which team would qualify for the Women's World Cup in France. The winner, indeed, taking it all.

        I don't think a single thought was going through my head other than World Cup! World Cup! World Cup!

        Dominique Bond-Flasza
        Jamaica had already been bold, bringing on McClure especially for the shootout. She and her teammates had practiced spot-kicks throughout the week. Was this shootout destiny or an example of how well prepared the squad was? Perhaps both.
        Four penalties in and no one has yet missed. Pulses quicken. Panama's Lineth Cedeno steps up, directs her effort at an obliging height and McClure saves but there is no wild celebration from the team's unflappable substitute goalkeeper. Instead, she calmly tells herself that she must save another. "The first save I felt something. I would say something within myself," she recalls.
          Kenia Rangel, Panama's fourth penalty taker, places the ball on the white spot 12 yards from goal. She shoots to her left, McClure dives low, her outstretched hand making contact with the ball. Save. Jamaica is on verge of becoming the first Caribbean island to qualify for the biggest tournament in the women's game.
          Supporters continue to filter into the stadium. The majority of the Jamaican team look as if they're on trampolines, bouncing on the halfway line in an attempt to contain the butterflies as Dominique Bond-Flasza prepares to take the penalty which could make history.
          Walking towards the penalty spot, the PSV defender decides where to place her shot. To the right, towards the top corner. "You know what to do," she tells herself, before taking a deep breath. Though there are nerves, she does not fear failure because she has not contemplated missing. "I just went for it," Bond-Flasza tells CNN Sport.
          The ball flies into the net.