Antofagasta - A blunder by Jamaica goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr gifted Paraguay a
1-0 victory that put them top of Group B at the Copa America on Tuesday.
Midfielder Victor Caceres played a long ball out of the Paraguay half for
Edgar Benitez to chase and Kerr's attempt at a clearing header bounced straight
off the striker's thigh and into the net in the 35th minute.
Jamaica, in the tournament for the first time as a guest team and warming up
for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States starting on July 7, have no
points after they also lost their first game 1-0 to Uruguay.
It was Paraguay's first win in 10 Copa America matches. They reached the
2011 final with five consecutive draws including two penalty shootout wins.
The match was also coach Ramon Diaz's first victory in his fifth game in
charge and followed their surprise 2-2 draw with favourites Argentina three
"We needed to win to be calm in our next matches ... It was tough but
it's important to win and we're happy with the three points," captain
Roque Santa Cruz told reporters.
Santa Cruz said Paraguay, emerging from a lean spell that included missing
the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, were beginning to gel under Diaz but needed to
improve in front of goal.
"We're pleased with the way the team is functioning, there's a lot of
intensity, I hope we can add some finishing," he said.
Prior to the goal, Paraguay striker Raul Bobadilla went just wide with a
scissors kick in the 21st minute and Santa Cruz's volley went straight to Kerr
in the 32nd.
Caceres had the ball in the net early in the second half but was ruled
offside and left back Miguel Samudio hit the bar on the hour after a fine run
Jamaica's best chance was a stinging low shot from outside the box by Garath
McCleary that skimmed the outside of Anthony Silva's right hand post with a
quarter of an hour to go.