Argentina 1-0 Jamaica: Higuain’s goal enough to secure top spot in Group B


Argentina were already through to the quarterfinals of the 2015 Copa America before their kicked off their Group B finale against Jamaica, but a 1-0 victory over the Reggae Boyz puts La Albiceleste through as group winners and ensures a somewhat easier quarterfinal matchup in the process.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Copa America coverage ]

Gonzalo Higuain scored the game’s only goal in the 11th minute, when Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria fed the Napoli striker a dangerous ball near the Jamaican penalty spot. From there, Higuain’s first touch was a cushioned one with four defenders surrounding him. Higuain’s next touch was a half-turn into seemingly the only gap through defenders, through which he deftly swept the ball along the ground and just inside the far post. 1-0, Argetina.

Di Maria very nearly doubled the lead in the 52nd minute, but his curling blast from outside the penalty area clanged loudly off the front of the crossbar and six full yards back into the field play.

Over the 90 minutes, Jamaica could must just five shots in total (one on target), while Argentina asked question after question of goalkeeper Dwayne Miller (19 shots, five on target).

[ MORE: Uruguay, Paraguay both advance to QF after drawing in Group B finale ]

Lionel Messi earned his 100th international cap on the day, but failed to mark the milestone with a 47th international goal.

In the quarterfinals, Argentina could face any of the three teams from Group C. With all four sides level on three points ahead of Sunday’s finales, any of the four could finish as on three or four points and advance as the other third-place side (Uruguay the other) to advance to the quarterfinals. A potential date with Brazil or Colombia looms in the semifinals.