The opening day of action at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2012 was one in which two Zurich-based clubs participating in the tournament came to the fore.
Grasshopper Club currently top Group A ahead of Congolese outfit TP Mazembe, while in Group B FC Zurich lead the way, with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg lying in second place. But there is still all to play for ahead of tomorrow’s decisive fixtures.
At the close of play on Matchday 1, intriguing parallels could be drawn between the two five-team sections. In each one, a club from Zurich finds itself in pole position, having secured two wins out of two, and earning six points in the process.
Their nearest challengers have four points to their names respectively, with TP Mazembe and Panathinaikos in pursuit of Grasshopper, and Zenit and Porto chasing FC Zurich.
As far as Borussia Monchengladbach and Besiktas are concerned, their chances of claiming the crown look slim, after picking up just one point thus far. However, Blue Stars and Berne outfit Young Boys are already elimated, having both already played three matches.
Aside from the two Swiss pacesetters, who performed in a focused and solid manner, Mazembe’s bright, creative attacks caught the eye, as did the one-touch, counter-attacking play demonstrated by Zenit St Petersburg. The fighting spirit exhibited by both Porto and Panathinaikos proved an asset that was essential to helping them stay in touch with the group leaders.
More crucial points are up for grabs tomorrow morning, as the Congolese side face Grasshopper in a key Group A clash and FC Zurich take on Zenit just before midday, in a match from which one of the 2012 finalists could potentially emerge.
Please see below for all of the results from today, up-to-date standings and Matchday 2 fixtures: