GROUP B outsiders Paraguay and Jamaica put in valiant performances in their opening Copa America fixtures. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) assesses their showdown on Tuesday night.
Paraguay v Jamaica | Tuesday 22.00 | Premier Sports
Just a week ago, anyone who suggested either Paraguay or Jamaica could finish above Argentina or Uruguay in Group B would have been given an odd look. The two pool outsiders were expected to battle it out in the hope of stealing a third-place qualifying spot but following promising opening performances, their meeting in Antofagasta should be good fun.
Following a tentative start and conceding two first-half goals against tournament favourites Argentina, Paraguay produced a sterling fight back and Ramon Diaz’s men know the point they picked up has given them a fantastic chance of securing a knockout place.
Lucas Barrios came off the bench to equalise and it was refreshing to see La Albirroja release the shackles. It was only the fifth time in 21 competitive games that Paraguay had scored at least twice in a match but also means they’ve now just failed to strike in two of their last 11 meaningful matches. Should they take a similar approach against Jamaica, we can expected to be rewarded with another entertaining and goal-laden game.
Despite going down 1-0 against Uruguay, Jamaica showed plenty of promise and caused their more illustrious opponents problems with their pace, power and athleticism. A number of good goalscoring opportunities were squandered but the Reggae Boyz will hope to be more clinical this time around and with Paraguay keeping only four clean sheets in those aforementioned 21 outings, we’re right to fancy Jamaica getting a goal.
There’s plenty at stake in Antofagasta but the best bet might be to get with the goals. Both Teams To Score has been chalked up as a 6/5 shot with 888 Sport and that’s an angle I like knowing the nature of defences on display. It’s proven a winner in four of Paraguay’s last six fixtures.
Paraguay v Jamaica – Both Teams To Score (6/5 888 Sport)