Copa America 2024: Mexico lose captain Alvarez to injury in narrow win over Jamaica

Alvarez collapsed clutching his hamstring in the 30th minute and limped off the pitch in tears

By Reuters

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Edson Alvarez of Mexico. — AFP
Edson Alvarez of Mexico. — AFP

Published: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 4:48 PM

Mexico scraped out a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in their Group B opener in the Copa America in Houston on Saturday, but their joy at making a winning start was tempered by what appeared to be a potentially tournament-ending injury to captain Edson Alvarez.

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

“We’re going to wait a couple of days to do some testing on him and to know well what he’s got going on,” coach Jaime Lozano said after the match.

“He’s extremely important. He’s a leader, he understands the game well. He’s important on the pitch and in the locker room as well.

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

Defender Cesar Montes told reporters: "It was extremely important to start on the right foot, always focussed, together, and (now) the only bad news is that our team mate suffered an injury that we hope is not serious and can return with us.

"(But) these situations are not simple, the doctor will have to evaluate to see if 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 coming."

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

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

Mexico, who are making their 11th appearance in the Copa America, reached the final in 1993 and 2001.

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

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


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