Argentina 1-0 Jamaica: La Albiceleste fortunate to top Group B

Posted on Jun 22 2015 - 9:54am by Ellis King

Argentina could top the group with a victory over already eliminated Jamaica, but La Albiceleste were through to the quarters regardless. 

They started strongly with Lionel Messi, on his 100th appearance for the national team, looking to be his usual menacing self. Higuain had a couple of minor chances early on but failed to make anything of them.

On 10 minutes Argentina took an unsurprising lead. Ángel Di María’s poked ball appeared to unintentionally reach Gonzalo Higuaín who turned brilliantly in inches of space before find the far corner in the tightest of situations.

Higuaín was in search of a second after 22 minutes. Di María was again the provider with a magically ball lofted over the top of the Jamaican defence, but Higuaín’s attempt at lifting the ball over the top of the goalkeeper clipped the crossbar and went behind.

Wes Morgan came closest for the Reggae Boyz in the opening half hour, sending his header over the bar from a whipping corner.

Argentina responded rapidly with Messi working his way in on goal before curling inches wide of goal.

Straight after that Di María broke free on goal, despite having an option to his right the Manchester United man decided to go alone, but Dwayne Miller and the Jamaican defence came to the rescue of Winfried Schäfer.

Di María then forced another brilliant save out of Miller with 3 minutes left in the first half.

Thanks to Miller the sides went in at half-time with Jamaica just a goal down.

Argentina started the second half strongly, Di María cut inside from the right before curling a shot on to the cross bar.

Soon after Miller made another top drawer save. A sloppy piece of defending led the ball to the feet of Messi who attempted an audacious chip on the Syrianska goalkeeper, but he wasn’t having any of it.

Higuaín had another opportunity but tried to poke in his teammate as opposed to going along, thus the chance went flying by.

Until the final 10 minutes Argentina appeared to take their foot off the pedal. Not enough to see Jamaica have any real goalscoring opportunities, but enough to turn the game into a rather drab affair.

Substitute Carlos Tevez flashed the ball wide as Mascherano swung a low cross in, but it summed up Argentina’s finishing on the night.

The game ended leaving Argentina top of Group B, while Paraguay sit second, Uruguay third and Jamaica crash out of Copa America 2015 without scoring a goal, despite far from disgracing themselves in this match.

Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Garay, Demichelis, Rojo, Mascherano, Biglia, Pastore (Pereyra 59), Di María (Lamela 84), Messi, Higuaín (Tevez 72)

Jamaica: Miller, Lawrence, Morgan, Hector (Taylor 72), Laing (Dawkins 72), Mariappa, Austin, Watson, Mcanuff, McCleary, Brown (Barnes 78)

Booked: Laing, Pastore, Hector, Austin, Zabaleta

Goalscorers: Higuaín

Man of the Match: Dwayne Miller. The Sweden-based goalkeeper had the game of his life. Unfortunately for the Reggae Boyz he was unable to keep a clean because of a wonderful Gonzalo Higuaín goal, but that shouldn’t detract from a superb performance from Miller.