Copa America Preview: Uruguay And Jamaica Playing For Nothing But Pride
Pride is the only thing at stake when Uruguay and Jamaica look to avoid finishing bottom of Group C at the Copa America Centenario in Santa Clara on Monday.
Two defeats apiece in their opening games against Mexico and Venezuela has left both nations without a point and unable to reach the quarterfinals in United States.
Edinson Cavani has been charged with leading the line due to a troublesome hamstring injury to star forward Luis Suarez, and the Paris Saint-Germain striker has been guilty of wasting a host of chances.It is particularly disappointing for record 14-time champion Uruguay after reaching the knockout stages in the last six editions of the tournament and the team has just a solitary goal from Diego Godin to show from its 180 minutes of action.
Suarez may not be risked for the dead rubber with little riding on the outcome, but his passion for his country was on show during the defeat to Mexico.
The Barcelona superstar was seen thumping the dugout and screaming at boss Oscar Tabarez during the 3-1 loss in Glendale, his injury meaning he was unable to even make the bench – although he was seen warming up.
A lot was made of his reaction but Suarez insisted it was pure frustration at being unable to help his team, rather than criticism aimed at Tabarez.
In fact, Suarez praised the 69-year-old coach for not bowing to pressure and risking further injury.
“I will always be grateful to ‘Maestro’ [Tabarez] for not playing me,” he told a news conference.
“It would have been worse for me had I played because I would probably be in a corner moping right now.
“This muscle injury tricks you a lot, one moment it seems like you’re fine and the next it pulls.”
Jamaica is still waiting for its first goal and point at the Copa America after failing to register either in 2015.
The Reggae Boyz have continued to struggle this time around and over their two appearances now have 41 shots with only eight on target.
Monday’s clash will be the third meeting between the two nations with Uruguay leading the head-to-head with two wins to Jamaica’s one.
Their most recent encounter came exactly 12 months ago where Uruguay won 1-0 – its last Copa America win – thanks to a 52nd-minute strike from Cristian Rodriguez.
Since that triumph in Antofagasta, Tabarez’s side are winless in five consecutive matches, their worst run in the tournament’s history, and failed to keep a clean sheet in the process.