Uruguay edges Jamaica in Copa America

Jamaica's Simon Dawkins (#18) in Copa America action against Paraguay on June 16, 2015, in Antofagasta, Chile. (Photo: ca2015.com)

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile -- Midfielder Cristian Rodriguez scored a soft goal in holders Uruguay's laboured 1-0 win over outsiders Jamaica when they opened their defence of the Copa America on Saturday.

Midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro's free kick from the left was headed back into the middle by right back Alvaro Pereira and Rodriguez steered the ball with the inside of his left foot into the bottom corner of Duwayne Kerr's net in the 52nd minute.

Uruguay missed the incisive play of suspended striker Luis Suarez, who inspired them to their title triumph in Argentina four years ago, and substitute Cristhian Stuani miskicked a good chance for a second goal two minutes from time.

Jamaica tried to make the superior height pay in the final quarter of an hour as they pushed for an equaliser but striker Giles Barnes and substitute Deshorn Brown were wide with headers and they failed to really test goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.