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McCleary and Hector's Jamaica lose out to Paraguay

17 June 2015

Reggae Boyz beaten in their second Copa America clash

Garath McCleary came close to rescuing a point for Jamaica as he and Michael Hector’s Reggae Boyz suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Paraguay at the Copa America.

After some stout early defending, the Carribean nation were undone by a goalkeeping error from Duwayne Kerr, with Edgar Benitez punishing his mistake.

They stayed in the game, though, and almost grabbed a leveller late on when McCleary whizzed a shot just wide of the target.

Jamaica take on Argentina in their final group match of the Chile-hosted tournament, which takes place on Saturday evening (22.30 BST).

Former Blackburn and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz came close for Paraguay in the opening stages and in the 32nd minute his fierce volley forced Kerr into a strong save.

They went ahead four minutes later. An over-hit through ball from Victor Caceres looked to be drifting through into Kerr’s penalty area but the stopper elected to leave in 12-yard box to try and nod the danger clear.

He failed to get a clean connection on his header and it rebounded off the thigh of Benitez and trickled into the net from 20 yards.

After the break, Caceres thumped home at the far post from Pablo Aguilar’s header across goal but he was deemed to have been offside.

Caceres again came close moments later, firing a strike at Kerr that the keeper did well to turn around his post. Samudio played a one-two with Bobadilla on the hour mark before crashing a strike against the crossbar as Paraguay chased a second.

At the other end, McCleary weaved his way beyond a number of challenges but was dispossessed just as he was about to pull the trigger and, as the game entered the final 10 minutes, the Reading wideman unleashed a piledriver that whistled just wide of the post.

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