After suffering a heavy loss to France, Argentina revived their chances of progressing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Jamaica in their Group B match in Monterrey. The Reggae Boyz, for their part, scored their first-ever goal at the youth tournament, but Argentina’s panache and use of the flanks overpowered their Caribbean opponents.
Jamaica held the ball for the first quarter-hour, even having an opportunity from Jason Wright in the first minute of play, but Argentina soon put their best foot forward. The South Americans played through left-back Jonathan Silva out wide, who hammered a shot which Nico Campbell was able to parry, only to see Lucas Pugh hit a quick-fire shot just wide.
On the break, Jamaican captain Omar Holness tested Nicolas Sequeira from distance, but the keeper made the save look easy. And while Campbell was having an impressive game in goal at the other end, he was beat near-post a few minutes later by the on-form Silva. The No16 received a pass in the left side of the area and tried his luck with a strong left-footed effort to put Argentina ahead in the 23rd minute.
With the match far from over, Jamaica reminded the La Albiceleste of their threat, giving them a few scares after the restart. Sequeira took no chances as he lunged to bat away a curling free-kick from Alvas Powell and shortly thereafter, the keeper was beaten. However, the Argentines cleared the goalmouth scramble to counter for a chance of their own.
The South Americans, uncomfortable with just a one-goal lead, capitalised on a Jamaican rearguard caught standing too high. Ocampos charged down the flank and found a wide-open Pugh making a run through the centre. Pugh made no mistake with his chance, smashing the ball into the roof of Campbell’s net. The Jamaicans were not willing to leave their second match empty-handed, however, as Cardel Benbow chipped a cross from the touchline into the Argentinian area for Zhelano Barnes to volley home an historic goal for the Caribbean outfit.
With three points in hand, Argentina are in a fine position ahead of their next match with joint-leaders Japan on 24 June in Morelia, while Jamaica will be troubled with a fixture against France in Monterrey.