Action from the international friendly between host Chile and Jamaica (green jersey) on May 27, 2016, in Viña del Mar. (Photo courtesy of Federación de Fútbol de Chile)
VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile – Jamaica scored a goal in each half for a 2-1 win over host and defending Copa America champion Chile in an international friendly on Friday at the Estadio Sausalito.
It was the Reggae Boyz’s first-ever victory over a team in the top three of the FIFA rankings as both sides used the match as preparation for the upcoming Copa America Centenario.
The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Garath McCleary’s cross from the right-goal line, which may have taken the slightest of deflections off teammate Giles Barnes, rolled to Clayton Donaldson. The Birmingham City forward controlled with one touch and poked it home with his right foot from six-yards out for his second career international goal.
Joel Grant doubled the advantage eight minutes after the break, when he nodded home at the edge of the six-yard box off a right-sided cross from Barnes.
Chile produced numerous chances throughout the remainder of the game, but was thwarted by some timely goalkeeping, a goal-line clearance by Donaldson and inaccurate shooting.
With eight minutes remaining in normal time, Chile got on the scoreboard following a chaotic sequence in the Jamaican penalty area that saw Kemar Lawrence’s attempted clearance hit off Nicholas Castillo and cross the line.
The Jamaicans open their Copa America Centenario campaign on June 5 against Venezuela at Soldier Field in Chicago.