Reggae Boyz lose Copa America opener
Ten-man Jamaica went down 1-0 to Venezuela in their opening Group C Copa America Centenario football game at Soldier Field in Chicago yesterday.
Josef Martínez fired the South Americans in front on 15 minutes after Jamaica lost possession just outside the area and the Venezuelans countered swiftly and Martínez fired under Andre Blake to finish off the move and give his team a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later, the Reggae Boyz were reduced to 10 players after captain Rodolph Austin was given a harsh red card for a tackle on Venezuela captain Tomás Rincón. Replays showed Austin had played the ball first.
Jamaica started the better team and had a good strike from Clayton Donaldson, which was tipped over.
The Reggae Boyz then hit the bar from the resulting corner through Jevaughn Watson.
After Austin's sending off, Venezuela controlled the tempo, but were never really threatening.
However, the Jamaicans suffered another blow close to the end of the half, when left-back Kemar Lawrence picked up an injury and was replaced by Wes Morgan, who was not expected to play until the next match.
At the start of the second half, Reggae Boyz head coach Winfried Schäfer was also sent to the stands following a half-time confrontation with the referee.
Immediately after the break, Giles Barnes had a shot against the post.
Then in the 66th minute, Clayton Donaldson had a goal ruled out due to an infringement before that play.
In the 69th minute, Blake's reflex save kept Wilker Angel's header out.
Then minutes later, Watson blasted over from 12 yards. Adrianna Mariappa also came close with a header, but it wasn't to be as the Venezuelans held out for the three points.
Jamaica:- Andre Blake, Je-Vaughn Watson (Michael Binns, 88th), Adrian Mariappa, Jermaine Taylor, Kemar Lawrence (Wes Morgan, 40th), Garath McCleary, Jobi McAnuff, Michael Hector (Lee Williamson, 77th), Rodolph Austin, Clayton Donaldson, Giles Barnes.
Venezuela:- Dani Hernández, Roberto Rosales, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Wilker Ángel, Rolf Feltscher, Tomás Rincón, Arquímedes Figuera, Alejandro Guerra (Alexander Gonzalez, 91st), Luis Seijas (Rómulo Otero, 86th), Josef Martínez (Adalberto Peñaranda, 77th), Salomón Rondón.