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HomeWorldMexico sweat on Edson Álvarez’ fitness after Copa América victory over Jamaica

Mexico sweat on Edson Álvarez’ fitness after Copa América victory over Jamaica

Mexico recorded a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in their Group B Copa América opener in Houston on Saturday, but their joy at making a winning start was dampened by what looked like a potentially tournament-ending injury to captain Edson Álvarez.

Alvarez, who plays for West Ham United in England and is one of the Mexican team’s most experienced players, collapsed clutching his hamstring in the 30th minute and limped off the pitch in tears.

Jamaica, ranked 38 places below Mexico, thought it had scored its first-ever Copa América goal when Michail Antonio headed into the net five minutes into the second half, but the goal was ruled out by the video assistant for offside.

Mexico stepped up a gear after that scare, with Luis Chavez, Santiago Gimenez and Gerardo Arteaga all scoring fine saves from Jamaica keeper Jahmali Waite, before Arteaga finally broke the deadlock with a thunderous goal in the 69th minute.

Alvarez’s injury is a huge blow to the national team, coach Jaime Lozano said.

“We’re going to wait a few days to test him a bit and really know what he’s doing,” Lozano said after the match. ‘He is extremely important. He is a leader, he understands the game well. He is important on the field and also in the locker room.

“You listen to him, he has a good way with words and when he speaks, you listen. This was a heavy blow to all of us.”

Defender Cesar Montes told reporters: “It was extremely important to start on the right foot, always focused, together, and 1719123334 the only bad news is that our teammate has suffered an injury which we hope is not serious and can return to us.

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“[But] These situations are not easy, the doctor will have to assess whether he can continue with us [for the rest of the tournament]. For the group he is the leader, a very important piece and it will be good to know his diagnosis in view of what is to come.

Mexico, which is participating in the Copa America for the eleventh time, reached the final in 1993 and 2001.

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Both teams had relatively inexperienced goalkeepers. Julian Gonzalez made his third start for Mexico after veteran Guillermo Ochoa was dropped from the squad and his predecessor Luis Malagon was recently injured.

Waite was given the honor for Jamaica because Andre Blake, two-time Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year for the Philadelphia Union, was injured before the tournament. Waite made eight saves.

The result moved Mexico level on three points with Venezuela, who defeated Ecuador 2-1 in the other Group B match earlier in the day.

Jamaica will play Ecuador in Las Vegas on Wednesday, while Mexico will take on Venezuela in Inglewood, California.

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