Two late goals give Mexico 3-1 win over Uruguay
Mexico scored twice in the final five minutes to beat Uruguay 3-1 in a pulsating Copa America Group C match in which each side had a man sent off on Sunday night.
The win in front of a passionate and partisan crowd in Arizona left Mexico top of the group on goal difference over Venezuela, which beat 10-man Jamaica 1-0 in Chicago.
Jamaica, which has now lost all four of its Copa America matches by the same 1-0 score, had the first chance at Soldier Field when a header from Je-Vaughn Watson hit the bar in the 11th minute.
Venezuela, whose highest finish at a Copa America was the 2011 semi-finals in Argentina, went ahead after 15 minutes when Alejandro Guerra set up Josef Martinez and the striker shot under goalkeeper Andre Blake.
The Caribbean islanders fought hard in the second half, but Michael Hector hit the post with a shot and, at the other end, Blake needed to make a superb save from Wilker Angel’s diving header.
In the other match, the early omens were not good for Uruguay, whose players stood stunned before kickoff when the Chilean national anthem was played instead of their own.
Mexico then made a lightning start with the fastest goal of the tournament so far in its first incursion into the Uruguay penalty area in the fourth minute.
Hector Herrera and Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira both leapt to meet Andres Guardado’s curling cross from the left with the defender heading into his own net.
Uruguay equalized in the 74th minute from the free kick awarded when Guardado was also shown a second yellow card.
Mexico, however, had the last word when their captain Rafael Marquez scored a fine goal from a corner, finding the top corner of Fernando Muslera’s net with an angled shot from the right.
Uruguay, without injured striker Luis Suarez and on the back foot for most of the first half, missed two good chances either side of halftime.
Mexico plays Jamaica next in Pasadena on Thursday when Uruguay meets Venezuela in Philadelphia.
Late Monday night, Panama and Bolivia clashed while Argentina faced Chile, with Lionel Messi a doubt to start for the Argentines after recovering from an injury.