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Uruguay v Jamaica: Defending champions aiming for back-to-back titles

Veteran midfielder Egidio Arevalo said defending champions Uruguay are back to retain their Copa America title.

Uruguay claimed a 15th Copa America title after trumping Paraguay four years ago, with the South American giants led by Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan.

Oscar Tabarez will be without the front pair for the 2015 campaign, with Suarez suspended and Forlan retired from international duty, while veterans Diego Lugano and Sebastian Abreu are not in the squad.

However, Arevalo insists Uruguay – who kick-off their title defence against invitees and Caribbean champions Jamaica in Group B action at Estadio Regional Calvo on Saturday – are dreaming big in Chile.

“We come with the same dreams and desire to get it [the Copa] back,” Arevalo was quoted as saying.

“Even though the squad has new faces, the desire and enthusiasm to be champions still remains intact.

“On the field, we become strong and fight for every title we want.”

Saturday’s opponents Jamaica – competing in the Copa America for the first time in their history – are expected to make a swift exit in the 44th edition of South America’s premier international tournament.

Jamaica face an uphill task against not only Uruguay, but favourites Argentina and 2011 runners-up Paraguay in Group B.

Coach Wilfried Schafer acknowledges Jamaica’s inferiority but believes the CONCACAF nation are capable of an upset.

“I would say that we can only win through crosses, because we have very tall people, or that Uruguay will not have a good day,” the German said.

“But if we play with a lot of discipline, with speed and close spaces, we can improve ourselves.”

Uruguay have won three matches on the bounce since losing to Costa Rica on penalties in a friendly last November, while Jamaica are in the midst of a five-game winning streak.

Fri 12 Jun, 2015
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