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Argentina edges brave Jamaica in Copa America

Argentina's Lionel Messi (far right) looks for an opening against Jamaica during their Copa America match on June 20, 2015, in Viña del Mar, Chile. (Photo: ca2015.com)

VIÑA DEL MAR, Chile – Despite a spectacular display by goalkeeper Dwayne Miller, Jamaica was eliminated from the Copa America after a 1-0 loss to Argentina in the last Group B game for each on Saturday at the Estadio Sausalito. 

Thanks to a 10th minute goal by Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina (2-1-0, 7 points) finished atop the group with seven points, two points in front of second-place Paraguay (1-2-0, 5 points). Uruguay (1-1-1, 4 points) was third with four points, while three straight 1-0 defeats left Jamaica last with no points. 

Higuain received a pass delivered on the ground by Angel Di Maria from the left side of the box, controlled the ball while shielding a defender and then turned to roll a low shot inside the left post from 12-yards out. 

The Napoli forward also put a looping shot off the crossbar in the 22nd minute. 

Di Maria, who also hit the crossbar with an attempt from 20-yards out seven minutes into the second half, was named Man of the Match, but the award easily could have gone to Miller for his heroic efforts. 

Miller, who plays for Syrianska in Sweden, made numerous big stops.  His best might have come in the 57th minute, when he was off his line to challenge the ball, which deflected out to Lionel Messi.  The Barcelona superstar, making his 100th appearance for La Albiceleste, looked to chip, only for Miller to recover and dive backward to make a tremendous save. 

Jamaica looked the better side in the second half, but couldn’t find the equalizer.  The Reggae Boyz bowed out of the tournament without a goal, but should be buoyed by their performance heading into next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

 
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