Ecuador boosted their chances of advancing to the knockout rounds of the Copa America on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over Jamaica in their Group B match in Las Vegas.

Following a defeat to Venezuela in their opening match, Ecuador held off a spirited second-half challenge from the Reggae Boyz to secure three vital points at the Allegiant Stadium.

The South American side appeared to be comfortably in control after taking a 2-0 lead. The first goal came from an own goal by Kasey Palmer, followed by a penalty from Chelsea-bound teenager Kendry Paez.

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Jamaica, however, fought back with a goal from veteran striker Michail Antonio early in the second half. They then had strong claims for a penalty turned down 15 minutes before full-time.

Ecuador secured the win in stoppage time with a breakaway goal from Alan Minda as Jamaica pushed for an equaliser.

The loss leaves Jamaica at the bottom of Group B with no points after two games. Their fate in the tournament could be decided later on Thursday depending on the result of Venezuela’s clash with Mexico.

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Ecuador opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a freakish own goal, as Pierre Hincapie’s cross took a wicked deflection off Palmer and looped into the net.

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They doubled their lead from the penalty spot just before half-time after defender Greg Leigh instinctively blocked a header with his upper arm. Following a lengthy VAR review, Chilean referee Cristian Garay awarded the penalty. The 17-year-old Paez, who is set to join Premier League giants Chelsea in July 2025, calmly converted the spot-kick.

Jamaica pulled one back early in the second half with Antonio jabbing home a low shot in the 54th minute after Ecuador failed to clear a corner.

Jamaica believed they had a lifeline 15 minutes before the end when a VAR check suggested Alan Franco had handled the ball inside the area. However, after reviewing the incident on the monitor, referee Garay decided there had been no handball and waved play on.

Minda’s late goal in stoppage time sealed Ecuador’s win and dashed Jamaica’s hopes of a comeback.

 

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