Mexico has designs on dismissing Jamaica
Things tend to unravel in a hurry in Copa America competition. After the events of Sunday, perhaps no team understands this better than Jamaica.
Brimming with confidence entering its Group C opener vs. Venezuela, coach Winfried Schafer’s bunch fizzled almost right away. Not only did the Reggae Boyz absorb a 1-0 loss, Schafer himself received a red card for criticizing the match officials. Midfielder Rodolph Austin was assessed the same punishment in the first half.
Can Jamaica flash some of that immense promise tonight, though? Most oddsmakers seem skeptical. Online sports book Bovada.lv lists Wes Morgan’s crew as a whopping +1400 underdog heading into a must-win tussle against Mexico at 10 p.m. ET. Conversely, Juan Carlos Osorio’s gang represents a 1.5-goal favorite.
Mexico hits the pitch in Pasadena on a huge high note. Captain Rafa Marquez and Hector Herrera notched tallies in the waning stages to ensure the squad’s 3-1 weekend triumph over Uruguay. Osorio hasn’t suffered a defeat since taking the helm of El Tri in October.
Will the man with the hot hand be able to negate Morgan’s impact in several hours? Jamaica’s biggest name didn’t even check into the previous contest until the 40th minute, but he should have a tremendous impact at the Rose Bowl. After squandering a couple of golden chances in the Venezuela tilt, Je-Vaughn Watson also bears monitoring.
In the end, we’ll hedge our bets on the Reggae Boyz’ upside. If further lapses in concentration crop up, however, Mexico could well waltz into the second round.
THURSDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: JAMAICA +1.5