Senegal’s Academie Generation Foot made an impressive start to their first day of participation the Blue Sars/Fifa Youth Cup in Switzerland and are the only team guaranteed a semifinal spot on Thursday following the opening two rounds of matches.
The Senegalese club are making the most of a first-ever invitation to participate in one of world football’s most prestigious youth tournaments.
Academie Generation Foot beat champions Basle 2-0 before edging out Marseille 1-0 to finish Wednesday with a 100 per cent record and secured top spot in Group A with their six points. FC Zurich are second with two points, with Basle and Marseille on one point apiece.
They will play one more group game on Thursday and then look to wrap up success in the knockout stages.
The academy rom Dakar are only the eighth African side to be invited to compete in the only youth club tournament that world football’s governing body host, following in the footsteps of Al Ahly (Egypt), Asante Kotoko, FC Nania and Mysterious Dwarfs of Ghana; Abuja Unity Boys (Nigeria), TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kaizer Chiefs, who competed in 2010.
Brazil’s Corinthians and Grasshoppers Zurich lead the way in Group B after securing a win and a draw in their two matches. Liverpool drew both their games to sit third on two points, while hosts FC Blue Stars are yet to get off the mark.
The semifinalists will be determined following the final round of group matches on Thursday morning. The last-four games and the finals will take place later in the day.
The Blue Stars/Fifa Youth Cup is an international U-19 tournament has been held without interruption – with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 when Covid-19 struck – since 1939.
An invitation is highly sought after as most of world’s leading clubs have sent their juniors to participate and Manchester United, with 18 tournament successes, are the most successful in the event’s history.