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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Jamaica scored early in the first half and late in the second to register a surprise 2-0 win over a strong Uruguay side in a friendly international on Wednesday.

With only star attacker Alvaro Recoba missing through injury, Uruguay were outfought for most of the game by the Jamaicans, who were strengthened by their leading players from leagues in Europe and the United States.

Striker Onandi Lowe stunned the Uruguayans in the ninth minute when he scored with a blistering left-foot free kick from 25 metres, sending the 27,000 crowd into a frenzy.

Lowe, who plays for English second division side Rushden and Diamonds, drove powerfully past goalkeeper Gustavo Munua after fellow forward Ricardo Fuller had been brought down.

The hosts continued to apply the pressure and Jermaine Johnson came off the bench in the second half before skilfully weaving his way past two defenders and Munua to double Jamaica's lead in the 82nd minute.

The victory was a vital one for technical director Carl Brown, who had been under pressure recently following a string of defeats.

'The players did well and they stuck to the task. This is the best performance we have seen from the Jamaica team in the last two years,' Brown said.

The Uruguayans did miss a chance to draw level after Lowe's early strike, but midfielder Ernesto Chevanton's 34th minute penalty kick was saved by Donovan Ricketts after home defender Damion Stewart had handled the ball in the area.

It was the first meeting between the teams and Jamaica will be pleased with the victory ahead of their 2006 World Cup qualifiers in four months time.

Uruguay, who are fourth in the South American standings, will hope for a better performance in their next qualifier against Venezuela next month.
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