Thursday, July 25, 2024

Alvarez injury sours Mexico win in Copa America opener

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jun 2024

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Mexico kickstarted their Copa America campaign with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica at the NRG Stadium, but were left sweating on the fitness of captain Edson Alvarez.

The West Ham midfielder, who made his 80th appearance for his nation in Texas, was forced off after 30 minutes and was seen visibly upset as he left the pitch.

“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,” head 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.”

Alvarez’s club team-mate Michail Antonio thought he had scored Jamaica’s first-ever Copa America goal five minutes into the second half, only to see his header ruled out by VAR.

However, Mexico recovered from that earlier scare, forcing a string of saves from Jahmali Waite before Gerardo Arteaga finally broke the deadlock with a fine finish.

The result moved El Tricolor level on three points with Venezuela, who beat Ecuador 2-1 in the other Group B clash earlier in the day, but attention quickly turned to the fitness of their captain at full-time.

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 play Ecuador in Las Vegas on Wednesday, while Mexico face Venezuela in California next Thursday.

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