By FOCUS REPORTER
Day two of the 2011 Future Champions Gauteng provided yet more drama and superb football at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto as some of the top Under-17 sides in the world continued their battle for semi-final places.
The Future Champions Gauteng tournament, organised by Global Sports
International on behalf of the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, has grown into one of the top junior competitions on the global football calender and this year will crown its third winner after Boca Juniors from Argentina in 2009 and Chinese side Shandong Luneng in 2010.
Mexican side Pachuca were victors in the opening game of day two as they beat Zambian club K Stars 2-1. Oscar Torres and Luis Torres were on target for the Central Americans, while Bernard Mapili betted a consolation for the Africans.
South Africans Jomo Cosmos and Russian side Rubin Kazan played to a 0-0 draw in game two, before Nigerian outfit Apapa Golden Stars produced the performance of the day, running out 5-1 victors over Gaborone Young Zebras from Botswana.
Golden Stars’ Ablodun Ibrahim, who also netted in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Mineiro on Monday, scored the first hat-trick of the 2011 Future Champions Gauteng, to go with other strikes from Ojochenmi Abba and Daniel Chukwunyere. Mathews Moruti scored for the second time in two days for Young Zebras, but it proved just a consolation for his side.
Future Champions Belo Horizonte winners Atletico Mineiro turned on the style as they beat South African side BidVest Wits 3-1, with Carlos getting a hat-trick for the Brazilians. Khotso Mokhele scored for Wits.
Mamelodi Sundowns continued their fine start to the competition as they beat Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven 1-0, Reabetswe Mochacha getting the all-important goal for the South Africans.
In the final game of the day, local Soweto side Orlando Pirates played to a 0-0 draw with Chilean side Universidad Catolica.
The action continues on Wednesday with six more group matches at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, starting at 10h00, before the tournament moves to the Moruleng Stadium in the North West province on Thursday for the start of the play-offs and the semi-finals.
The competition returns to the Nike Football Training Centre for the final play-offs and the championship decider on Saturday, 2nd April.