Chelsea-bound Paez, 17, scores in Ecuador win


Ecuador kept their hopes of qualifying for the Copa América quarterfinals alive with a 3-1 win over Jamaica in Las Vegas on Wednesday that left the Reggae Boyz on the brink of elimination.

Ecuador went ahead in the 13th minute via a Jamaica own goal, when Piero Hincapie’s cross from the left was deflected off Kasey Palmer’s shin into the net.

The South Americans doubled the lead via a Kendry Paez penalty kick just before the interval after a handball by Gregory Leigh, before Alan Minda killed off the contest in the 91st minute with a goal from a classic counter-attack.

Jamaica halved the deficit shortly after half-time, scoring their first-ever Copa América goal following a corner. Ethan Pinnock’s effort was blocked by the Ecuador defence, but the rebound fell to Michail Antonio, who rifled the ball into the net.

Kendry Paez of Ecuador scores from the penalty spot in a Copa América game against Jamaica.

They thought they had earned a penalty themselves in the 73rd minute when referee Cristian Garay was sent to the monitor to check for a possible handball by Alan Franco, but the referee decided not to award a spot kick.

Victory gave Ecuador, which was beaten by Venezuela in their Group B opener, their first points of the tournament and leaves it level with Mexico — losers to Venezuela in Wednesday’s late game.

Jamaica lost its opener to Mexico and is now eliminated following Venezuela’s win on Wednesday night. must now win their final group game against Venezuela to have any hope of advancing.

Jamaica play Venezuela in Austin, Texas and Mexico face Ecuador in Glendale, Arizona in the final round of Group B matches on Sunday.



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