Copa America Centenario 2016: Javier Hernandez, Oribe Peralta give Mexico 2-0 win over Jamaica
Je-Vaughn Watson (R) defends Raul Jimenez. | Photo Courtesy: Mark Terrill/AP

A 2015 Gold Cup Final rematch saw Mexico defeat Jamaica by a score of 2-0 in their second Group C match at the Copa America Centenario. This surely did not disappoint as both teams still had some tension with one another after a controversial final match last year.

Mexico off to great start

Mexico had a chance in the fifth minute when Jamaica failed to control the ball in their own third, resulting in a Mexico 2-on-1 attack, but Jamaican keeper Andre Blake came off his line to clear the danger from his own 18-yard box. At the other end, just minutes later, Clayton Donaldson almost put Jamaica up on the board in the seventh minute, but his shot went just wide of the net.

Giles Barnes earned Jamaica a free kick in the 11th minute when he was taken down by a pair of Mexico defenders. This would set up Jamaica's first set piece of the match. Unfortunately, the ensuing kick didn't make much, and Mexico was awarded a free kick from their own 18-yard box, set for Guillermo Ochoa.

Chicharito strikes first

The opener came in the 18th minute when a great cross from Jesus Manuel Corona found the head of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who tucked the ball away past the Philadelphia Union goalkeeper, making the score 1-0 to El Tri. Leading up to that attack, Jamaica had recently given the ball up in their attacking third and committed a foul in the center circle.

Mexico earned another corner in the 23rd minute after a deflection went out over the end line. The kick was cleared out by the Jamaican defenders but was shortly stopped after a foul gave Mexico the possession and a free kick.

Jamaica had a promising attack building up in the 25th minute, but couldn’t seem to fit the pieces together for a shot on goal. Mexico, down at the other end, forced a counter attack to their attacking goal. A weak cross was covered up by Blake, keeping the score at 1-0 in the 25th minute. Jamaica earned a corner kick a minute later, but nothing came out of it as Donaldson was whistled for a foul on Mexico keeper Ochoa.

Je-Vaughn Watson saw the first yellow card in the 27th minute for a hard foul on Hernandez. Donaldson came close to equalizing the match after he got his head to a cross, but the attempt went wide of the frame in the 29th minute.

Adrian Mariappa tries to pick the pocket of Jesus Manuel Corona in first half action against Mexico. (Photo: Marl Terrill/AP)

Jamaica should’ve tied the game at 1-1 in the 35th minute when Garath McCleary had a wide open shot, but his effort was blocked by Yasser Corona of Mexico. The break was on for El Tri, and a Raul Jimenez cross was deflected out for a corner kick, Mexico’s third of the game.

Ochoa kept Mexico in the front after not one, but two remarkable saves in the 39th minute from Donaldson, and Jobi McAnuff. Just minutes later, Jamaica pleaded for a penalty after Corona brought down Donaldson in the box. The official was right on top of the play, and waved off the call, awarding a goal kick to El Tri. At the other end, Mexico was building up an attack in the 45th minute but slowed down after a poor cross saw the ball go away from goal, instead of inside the six-yard box.

The halftime whistle blew to end the first half, and Mexico went into the dressing room up 1-0, with a Chicharito Hernandez header.

Second Half

The second half started quickly for Mexico, when Chicharito almost got his second goal of the night after a Corona cross found Jimenez, who squared it to Hernandez right inside the six-yard box. But Hernandez couldn’t get his head onto the free ball as it sailed past him, and Blake, the Jamaican keeper. Mexico had another great chance just a few minutes later when Miguel Layun centered a ball inside but it was cleared out.

The pressure would keep coming from El Tri when Jimenez tried to curl a shot to the upper left 90 of the far post, but his effort sailed just wide. After a corner kick minutes later, Mexico pleaded for a corner kick after Javier Hernandez was taken down inside the box. Once again, the official waved play on.

Mexico was in control within the first 15 minutes of the second half, getting opportunity after opportunity. In the 60th minute, Mexico’s Jimenez tried to get his name on the scoresheet with a header on goal from 12 yards out, but it was an easy catch for Blake. In the 60th minute, a gasp of breath came from the Jamaican players when Blake mishandled a shot from Jimenez, and almost went into the net. But Blake was there to cover the ball and keep Jamaica in the game.

Jamaica had a plea for a penalty after Corona was tripped inside the box, but no call from the official.

Moments later, a long clearance by Blake saw Donaldson in on goal, but the ball got knocked out from under his feet and out for a corner kick. Within the same minute, Donaldson, again, was in on goal on the left footed shot, but it went wide of the frame.

The 75th minute saw Mexico come close to doubling their lead. Jimenez centered in a ball towards Chicharito, but he couldn’t get on the end of it, and Jamaica would clear the danger, and attack the other way.

Mexico finally got their second of the night when Oribe Peralta hit an off-balance shot from his left foot past Blake in the 82nd minute, giving Mexico a 2-0 lead. Jamaica almost spoiled the party with a Michael Hector shot from outside the 18-yard box, but Ochoa was there with a strong right hand save, keeping his clean sheet intact.

Dever Orgill gave Mexico a scare after he struck from distance, but the ball went just over the crossbar and hit the top of the net, in the 87th minute. Mexico would gain possession and attack to their goal, with many passes and shots being made. The best opportunity was blocked, but it allowed El Tri to reset a little, and attack again, only to give up the ball and foul in Jamaica’s defending half.

Blake would stop a Hirving Lozano cross, and quickly release for a Jamaica counter attack. Unfortunately, time would run out for Jamaica, and Mexico would claim the top spot in Group C, and seeing them advance to the knockout stages.

The final score was Mexico 2, Jamaica nil.

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