Reggae Boyz hold their own at Copa

Jamaica forward DeShorn Brown (right) taking a selfie with superstar Lionel Messi, who earned his 100th Argentina cap, after his team had restricted the World Cup finalists to a 1-0 win in a Copa America Group B match. The invited Jamaicans impressed
Jamaica forward DeShorn Brown (right) taking a selfie with superstar Lionel Messi, who earned his 100th Argentina cap, after his team had restricted the World Cup finalists to a 1-0 win in a Copa America Group B match. The invited Jamaicans impressed in Chile, going down only 0-1 in all their games.PHOTO: REUTERS

VINA DEL MAR (Chile) - After Argentina defeated Jamaica 1-0 in the Copa America on Saturday, it was hard to tell who would remember this group game more.

Lionel Messi after earning his 100th cap for his country or Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown?

No sooner had the final whistle blown than Brown whipped out his mobile phone on the pitch to snap a selfie with the Argentina star.

Brown posted the photo on his Instagram account, along with the following caption: "Not the result we were looking for, but I get to meet the best player in the world and it was a great feeling to play against him! Best of luck to (Messi) and Argentina in the rest of the tournament."

Argentina's captain laughed as he recalled what had happened.

"He surprised me... but when I saw the phone I realised what was going on. It's really nice when a colleague asks me for that," Messi said.

Leyton Orient midfielder Jobi McAnuff did not leave Chile empty-handed either after swopping shirts with the Barcelona man.

The Reggae Boyz were eliminated after losing all three of their matches 0-1, but the invitees belied their pre-tournament status as whipping boys.

Argentina could not build on an early goal from Gonzalo Higuain although they did secure their place in the quarter-finals as winners of Group B with seven points, two ahead of Paraguay.

The Napoli striker almost added a second in the 22nd minute, but his lob bounced off the top of the bar and behind the goal.

Angel di Maria also rattled the bar before half-time and Messi came close with a rasping drive that whistled past Miller's right-hand post.

Argentina dominated the first 45 minutes in terms of possession and shots on goal.

But after the break, they seemed to run out of ideas against a team ranked 62 places below them in the latest Fifa standings.

And the match ended with the unusual sight of the Jamaicans bombarding the 2014 World Cup finalists' goal in search of an equaliser.

"If we have games that are more like the second half today, then evidently we are going to have problems," said Argentina coach Gerardo Martino.

Argentina and Paraguay will find out this morning (Singapore time) who they will meet in the last eight.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Reggae Boyz hold their own at Copa'. Print Edition | Subscribe