Members of the Jamaican national women’s soccer team cried and locked arms as Bob Marley’s One Love played over the stadium’s speakers. Coach Lorne Donaldson kept somersaulting around the pitch. Jamaican fans in Melbourne, Australia, couldn’t stop cheering.

They all had a grasp on the history that had just been made.

Jamaica is headed to the knockout stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time. The “Reggae Gilrz” became the first Caribbean nation ever to advance from the women’s group stage after fighting Brazil to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday. The Jamaicans finished second in Group F with five points, two behind first-place France. In just its second World Cup appearance, Jamaica eliminated Brazil, marking the first time since 1995 that Brazil did not advance out of the group stage of the Women’s World Cup.

In a little less than four months, the Reggae Girlz went from airing the team’s financial struggles and lack of resources to going where no Jamaican team has gone before.

Solai Washington (2) of Jamaica celebrates advancing to the knockout stage after the scoreless draw during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group F match against Brazil at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on August 2, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia.
Will Murray/Getty

Sandra Phillips-Brower, the mother of Jamaican midfielder Havana Solaun, started a fundraising campaign in April with a call to “fight for equality” as the team claimed to receive inadequate resources from the Jamaican Football Foundation. The GoFundMe titled “Reggae Girlz Rise Up,” which raised more than $50,000 from more than 1,000 donations, was said to help cover costs associated with playing in the World Cup, including a training camp, food and travel.

As funds were being collected, Jamaican players released social media statements detailing their struggles leading up to the World Cup.

“One of the greatest honors for a footballer is to represent your national team,” forward Khadija “Bunny” Shaw posted on Instagram in June. “Qualifying for a second World Cup is something most never imagined or thought possible for the Reggae Girlz. At a time where we should be focused solely on preparing to compete on the world’s largest stage, we are unfortunately compelled to express our utmost disappointment with the Jamaica Football Federation.”

Shaw’s post also accused the Jamaica Football Federation of providing “subpar planning, transportation, accommodations, training conditions, compensation, communications, nutrition, and accessibility to proper resources.”

Jamaica overcame its obstacles and opened World Cup play with a 0-0 draw against France. A 1-0 win over Panama in its second game of group play set up Jamaica to move on against Brazil.

In their first World Cup in 2019, the Reggae Girlz lost all three of their matches and conceded 12 goals. The Jamaicans have yet to allow a goal this time around.

The Jamaicans will play their first knockout-round game at 4 a.m. ET August 8 on FS1 against the winner of Group H in Adelaide, South Australia.