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Mexico beat Uruguay, Venezuela edge Jamaica

By The Assam Tribune

GLENDALE (ARIZONA), June 6: Rafael Marquez and Hector Herrera scored late goals to lift Mexico over Uruguay 3-1 in an opening-round Copa America match.

Marquez�s close-range shot in the 84th minute broke a 1-1 tie and Herrera�s header from just outside the net added another score in extra time.

Mexico�s other score was an own-goal by Uruguay�s Alvaro Pereira four minutes into the match. Marquez�s score came 10 minutes after Diego Godin�s header tied it for Uruguay at 1-1.

In the earlier match, Venezuela defeated Jamaica 1-0 in a physical Copa America Centenario clash here on Sunday that saw the Reggae Boyz reduced to 10 men while coach Winfried Schaefer was expelled from the dugout.

A vastly pro-Mexico crowd of 60,025 watched the matchup of what are considered the top teams in the tournament�s Group C.

The Mexican team, considered a serious challenger to win its first Copa America title, extended its unbeaten streak to 20 games. Uruguay was without its best player, Luis Suarez, who injured a hamstring in a match two weeks ago.

Marquez�s go-ahead goal came after a pass slipped through his legs and to a teammate, who sent the ball back to him for a wide-open shot at the net as the wild, enthusiastic crowd erupted. Uruguay�s Matius Vecino and Mexico�s Andres Guardado drew red cards and will have to sit out a match.

Uruguay was down to 10 players after Vecino left just before halftime after kicking Mexico�s Jesus Manuel Corona in the knee. But despite being at a man disadvantage, Uruguay went on the attack earlier in the second half and, after several near misses, tied it at 1-1.

Guardado drew a red card to set up a free kick for Uruguay.

Carlos Sanchez sent the ball into the goal box where, in the match�s 74th minute, Godin went up in a crowd and headed it into the right corner of the net. It was the first goal Mexico had allowed in its last 252 minutes of play.

The celebrating Uruguayan players were briefly pelted by water bottles from the crowd.

Early on, the own goal came after a near-perfect centre pass from just inside the right sideline by Guardado. Pereira and Herrera both went up for it. Herrera missed but Pereira, trying to head the ball over the net, instead knocked it to the left of goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and Mexico led 1-0.

On the other hand Jamaica, riding high after a shock friendly victory over Copa America champions Chile in a warm-up last week, were left ruing a string of missed chances against their South American Group C rivals.

In blazing hot sunshine at Chicago�s famous Soldier Field Stadium, Jamaica made life difficult for themselves with Rodolph Austin sent off midway through the first half for a rash challenge on Tomas Rincon.

By that stage Jamaica were already trailing 1-0 after a sloppy clearance from Michael Hector gifted possession to Venezuela around 30 yards from goal.

A swift series of one-touch passes culminated with Josef Martinez being played into space, and the Torino striker duly tucked away a low finish beneath the advancing Andre Blake to make it 1-0 after 16 minutes.

�We had a couple of chances and didn�t take them, they got one chance and they took it, and that was the difference in the game today,� said Jamaica�s assistant coach Miguel Coley, appearing at the post-match press conference instead of the dismissed Schaefer. � Agencies

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