Manchester United started their Milk Cup campaign in style last night with a stellar 11-0 victory.
On the receiving end at the Coleraine Showgrounds were Australia’s Gold Coast Academy.
It was an incredible game that saw Northern Ireland lad Jordan Thompson score a brace, while striker Demi Mitchell hit four.
United opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Marcus Rashford scored from a direct free-kick.
Within a minute United had doubled their advantage when Ogo Obi fired the ball into the roof of the net after some good work by Mitchell.
Obi grabbed his second of the the game in the 14th minute, with Mitchell turning provider again.
Rashford grabbed his second of the game in the 21st minute, with a little help from United midfielder Jordan Thompson.
Callum Gribben then added the fifth goal before the half-time break.
It wasn’t long before United opened their second half account.
Mitchell chipped the Gold Coast keeper three minutes into the half.
Mitchell then completed his hat-trick a few minutes later, before eventually making it 8-0 with his fourth goal.
Zac Darnley got the ninth after some great work from Northern Irishman Thompson, as United ran the men from Down Under ragged.
Travis Johnson then made it 10-0 before Thompson made it 11.
The 11th final goal of the game was perhaps the most memorable. Thompson rounded several Gold Coast players before slotting home.
If Portuguese giants Benfica expected to get things easy in the Milk Cup then they were in for a rude awakening at Portstewart.
They lost 1-0 to Mexican side Club America in keenly contested encounter.
Antrim squeezed past Down in an enthralling County derby at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
John Bailie’s men lost 3-2 to an Antrim side that contained a number of players that featured in last year’s Junior final.
Marc Sykes gave County Antrim the lead with an effort from 40 yards before Michael Johnston levelled for County Down 10 minutes into the second half.
Antrim regained the lead eight minutes later courtesy of another stunning free kick from Andrew Monney before substitute Paul Smyth extended their lead further with 64 minutes on the clock.
A late header from Callum Byers gave Down a consolation goal, but not a share of the points.
Down pushed for an equaliser but they were unable to unlock the Antrim defence in the final four minutes of the game.
Antrim captain Paul Smith will miss tomorrow’s game as he was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Unfortunately the other Ulster derby wasn’t such a thriller.
Tyrone and Fermanagh played out a hard fought scoreless draw at the Riada in Ballymoney.
However, Antrim weren’t the only county side in the Premier section to record an opening day victory.
Armagh claimed a 3-0 win over Dublin side Bohemians at The Warren.
Unfortunately, County Londonderry were unable to follow Antrim and Armagh’s lead. They lost 2-0 to Cherry Orchard at Roe Mill.
It was a good day for the English sides, with both Newcastle United and Brentford recording victories.
Newcastle managed a 2-0 win over Japanese side Ichifuna at Scroggy Road.
Brentford’s Premier team followed their success of the Junior team by claiming a 3-2 win over Zambian outfit Lusaka, in a thrilling encounter at Clough.
Lusaka weren’t the only African team in town.
The Craig Bellamy Foundation played their first Milk Cup game under the guidance of Lisburn man Johnny McKinstry.
Unfortunately for the side from Sierra Leone they lost 3-1 to Glasgow outfit Partick Thistle at Parker Avenue.
There were three all-foreign encounters in the Premier Section with three of the competition’s favourites all claiming wins.
Barcelona club Espanyol beat American outfit OC Blues 1-0 at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
Although Espanyol only won by one goal, onlookers were impressed by the Spaniards ability on the ball.
Russian club CSKA Moscow are another side to watch at this year’s Milk Cup.
They beat New Zealand’s Otago at Rugby Avenue in Coleraine.
CSKA’s fellow countrymen Chertanovo were unable to make it a double Russian at Broughshane.
They lost 3-1 to French side Verdee, who impressed with the passing style of football.