What should be considered success for the Reggae Girlz at this year's World Cup?

By May 20, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Cavani: Uruguay ready to fight for Copa America glory Cavani: Uruguay ready to fight for Copa America glory

    Edinson Cavani said Uruguay are ready to fight for Copa America honours following their rout of Ecuador on Sunday.

    Cavani and Luis Suarez scored as Uruguay opened their Group C campaign with a 4-0 demolition of 10-man Ecuador in Belo Horizonte.

    Ecuador's Jose Quintero was sent off after Nicolas Lodeiro gave Uruguay a sixth-minute lead and it was one-way traffic from that point.

    Cavani, Suarez and an own goal sealed a routine outing for Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay and the former revelled in the result.

    "We are ready to fight in the Copa America," Cavani said post-game, with 15-time champions Uruguay seeking their first Copa title since 2011.

    "We had chances in the first half, we could do it and that gave us the calm to handle the game. It was an important step."

    Cavani, who scored his first Copa goal after 11 matches, added: "We knew they were going to be a very difficult opponent. The important thing was that we entered the game with maximum concentration and we achieved that."

    After Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani made it 2-0 past the half-hour mark, Suarez tripled the lead prior to the interval following Quintero's 24th-minute dismissal.

    Suarez – who missed the end of Barcelona's season due to knee surgery – converted at the back post to heap further misery on Ecuador.

    Mina then turned the ball into his own net with 12 minutes remaining – a goal that had been initially ruled out for offside before being overturned by VAR.

    "Obviously, it's a positive result because we play the way we wanted to," Suarez told reporters. "But we played with an extra man in the first half.

    "We will play the tournament with the same hope and the same desire prior to today's result."

    Uruguay will next meet Copa America guests Japan in Porto Alegre on Thursday.

  • Berizzo: Qatar and Japan shouldn't be at Copa America Berizzo: Qatar and Japan shouldn't be at Copa America

    Eduardo Berizzo believes the Copa America should be exclusive to nations from the Americas after guests Qatar secured a draw against Paraguay on Sunday.

    Asian Cup champions Qatar – invited to participate in this year's tournament along with Japan – overturned a two-goal deficit to earn a shock 2-2 draw against Berizzo's Paraguay in their Copa opener.

    CONMEBOL has a history of inviting nations to compete, and Asian nation Australia are set to take part in the 2020 edition in Colombia and Argentina.

    Reflecting on Paraguay's Group B draw in Rio de Janeiro, head coach Berizzo told reporters: "I think it would make sense to play a Copa America with teams from all the Americas.

    "Are you asking me about invited nations, right? About Qatar and Japan? I think we should imagine a whole Copa America, with Central America and North America playing all the same tournament.

    "I never saw Europe inviting any South American team to compete.

    "Don't take it wrong, maybe it sounds a little acidic today, just after playing against our rival [Qatar]. But I firmly believe Copa America should be played by all the American teams in one tournament – CONCACAF and CONMEBOL together."

    Paraguay looked to be on track for a winning start thanks to Oscar Cardozo's fourth-minute penalty before Derlis Gonzalez added an unstoppable second.

    Qatar, however, fought back in the second half via Almoez Ali and Juan Rodrigo Rojas – who headed a Boualem Khoukhi effort into his own goal.

    "This result disappoints us all, we all want to win, from the fan to the coach," Berizzo said. "We need to mind our rival, our reality, a lot of things that explains a lot about this situation.

    "This is a new cycle for the team, there is no way I didn't know Copa America was coming to this date, so I cannot make any excuse of it if we cannot play well, when we play well I will tell you we did it.

    "Today we had a hard time finding the ball, especially in the middle of the field, and especially after being 2-0 up. If we would have this done, we should get another result."

  • Brazil not weaker without Neymar – Alves Brazil not weaker without Neymar – Alves

    Dani Alves believes Brazil are no weaker without Neymar as they chase success at the Copa America.

    Neymar was ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury in what was a blow to the hosts, who got their campaign underway with a 3-0 win over Bolivia on Friday.

    While Alves praised the Paris Saint-Germain star's quality, the Selecao captain feels Brazil are no weaker without the 27-year-old.

    "I believe that every time we come to the national team, we wear this shirt, we have to prove it, regardless of whether or not Neymar is there, we have to prove it because we represent a historical team, very respected worldwide," he told a news conference on Sunday.

    "But when you have an extra, like Ney, you become a little stronger. But you do not weaken without it, you only increase your qualities, you increase your power, but you do not diminish without him.

    "Our responsibility remains the same – we represent a history and we have to defend this history with great honour."

    Only Cafu (142) and Roberto Carlos (125) have played more games for Brazil than Alves (110) and the PSG full-back, who is coming out of contract, has no plans to slow down.

    Alves said he was eyeing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but knows he must continue performing.

    "It [2022 World Cup] is a goal I have, but I do not allow myself to look too far forward, because when you look far ahead you forget to look at now," he said.

    "I cannot forget to look at the now because the opportunities I have to be here can not to be distracted with the future and not with the past. What matters is the present.

    "I reinvent myself. When you reach a certain age, you begin to raise doubts, a lot of talk about the selection is renewed or the clubs have to renew, have more players, young people, but both in the clubs and in the national team, it values itself by results."

    Brazil take on Venezuela in Salvador on Tuesday in their second game in Group A.

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