The Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament got under way on Wednesday with two remarkable games in Group A that included a thrilling 3-2 victory for the KwaZulu-Natal Academy XI over Dutch side PSV Eindhoven at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
The opening game of the tournament saw English giants Arsenal defeat Scottish rivals Glasgow Celtic 4-2 as 11 goals were scored on the opening day of the prestigious junior tournament.
There was much joy for home side KZN Academy XI though as they raced into a 3-1 halftime lead and were able to hold on for the victory.
And this after PSV had taken the lead early on through Dani Moot, which looked as though it would set them on their way.
But once Mpumelelo Mdladla equalised for the home side, it was they who piled on the pressure and added two more goals before the break.
The Dutch side showed great spirit to pull a goal back and was then denied an equaliser, but the KZN Academy XI managed to hold on for a famous win.
In the earlier kick-off, Tyrell Robison had Arsenal in front early on, before Ben Sheaf struck with a stunning striker to make it 2-0.
But Celtic showed great character and clawed their way back into the game as Theodore Archibald halved the deficit.
That was the way it remained at the break, but Arsenal were stunned when Celtic equalised through Regan Hendry.
It seemed as though the momentum was shifting, but the young Gunners got in front again after a foul in the penalty box allowed Gedion Zelalem to score from the spot.
And the points were made safe when Kaylen Hinds netted a fourth for the English side for a great start to their campaign.
The action will now shift to Group B on Thursday as German side Stuttgart take on Italian giants AC Milan at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (15h00), before the South African Under-19 national team do battle with Turkish visitors Galatasaray (17h15).
The top two sides in each pool after the round-robin phase advance to the semifinals, with the final to be staged at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on August 8.
The Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament is in its second year and is a partnership between the South African Football Association, KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, Ethekwini Municipality and Hoy Park Management.
The inaugural event was won in 2014 by Brazilian side Santos, who defeated Portuguese outfit Benfica 2-0 in the final.
GROUP A – KING ZWELITHINI STADIUM
Jul 29: Arsenal 4 Glasgow Celtic 2
Jul 29: KZN Academy XI 3 PSV Eindhoven 2
Jul 31: KZN Academy XI vs Arsenal (15h00)
Jul 31: PSV Eindhoven vs Glasgow Celtic (17h15)
Aug 02: Arsenal vs PSV Eindhiven (15h00)
Aug 02: KZN Academy XI vs Glasgow Celtic (17h15)
STANDING P W D L GF GA PTS
Arsenal (England) 1 1 0 0 4 2 3
KZN Academy (SA) 1 1 0 0 3 3 3
PSV Eindhoven (Holland) 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
Glasgow Celtic (Scotland) 1 0 0 1 2 4 0
GROUP B – SUGAR RAY XULU STADIUM
Jul 30: Stuttgart vs AC Milan (15h00)
Jul 30: SA U19 0 Galatasaray (17h15)
Aug 01: SA U19 vs Stuttgart (15h00)
Aug 01: Galatasaray vs AC Milan (17h15)
Aug 03: Stuttgart vs Galatasaray (15h00)
Aug 03: SA U19 vs AC Milan (17h15)
STANDING P W D L GF GA PTS
AC Milan (Italy) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Galatasaray (Turkey) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa U19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Stuttgart (Germany) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0