Action from the Copa America Centenario match between Uruguay (white jersey) and Jamaica on June 13, 2016, in Santa Clara, California, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
SANTA CLARA, California – Uruguay once again played without Barcelona star Luis Suarez, but had enough firepower to earn a 3-0 win over Jamaica on Monday at Levi’s Stadium as both completed their participation in the Copa America Centenario.
The sides entered the encounter with matching 0W-0D-2L records in Group C, but the triumph gave the South Americans third place, while Jamaica has now lost its six all-time games in the tournament and has yet to score a goal.
Uruguay went ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute off a superbly executed sequence. From the left wing, Gaston Silva found Nicolas Lodeiro. As Carlos Sanchez made a run into the left side of the box to occupy the Jamaican central defense, Lodeiro picked out Abel Hernadez sprinting through the middle. Attempting to cut down the angle, goalkeeper Andre Blake charged off his line, but Hernandez lifted the ball into the net with his right foot from seven-yards out.
Blake, however, did make three first-half saves, thwarting Hernandez on two other occasions (7’, 35’) and Lodeiro (15’) once.
The second-half saw Uruguay net twice more.
After Edinson Cavani headed off the right post, an own-goal made it 2-0 in the 66th minute. Lodeiro delivered a cross from the left side of the box that first deflected off Hernandez’s foot, before ricocheting off Je-Vaughn Watson and crossing the line.
With two minutes remaining in normal time, substitute Matias Corujo got behind Watson to latch onto a long clearance by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. He raced into the right side of the box, hitting a right-footed shot from 12 yards off the hands of a diving Blake and into the net.
The Jamaicans are still involved in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They return to action in that competition on September 2 at Group B rival Panama, where a loss would eliminate the current Caribbean champion.
BUDWEISER MAN OF THE MATCH: Abel Hernandez (Uruguay)