Favourites don't disappoint in New Zealand
Ghana and Spain were two of the teams tipped before the start of the FIFA Under-17 World Championships to provide the thrills for the fans and they did not disappoint on the second day of the tournament in New Zealand.
But it was Mexico who stole the show on Thursday with their emphatic 4-0 win over Thailand and the emergence of a potential world star in captain and midfield general Ricardo Sanchez.
It was Sanchez's leadership, deft touches and accurate passes that pushed Mexico to the top of the tournament's toughest group after their win over the Asian champions in Napier.
Although he did not score himself, he orchestrated two goals in the first half and another two in the second.
It could ulhave been a lot more had it not been for some miracous saves by the Thai goalkeeper, Apinyakum Intharat.
Spain pulled off a little miracle of their own with an injury time goal to draw 1-1 with Ghana in the other group B match in Napier. Defender Mario scored with a back post header to equalise with virtually the last touch of the match. Ghana, seeking a fifth successive appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Championship final, had earlier taken the lead through Ibrahim Attiku just before half-time.
In Auckland, the group A match between Poland and Uruguay also ended 1-1, leaving the USA top of the standings after their win over the Kiwi hosts in the opening match on Wednesday.