There are five teams with the maximum six points heading into today’s final round of group fixtures in the Premier Section. Here’s a look ahead to Wednesday’s important Premier games, where it could go right down to the final whistle.
Ichifuna of Japan have impressed many fans this week with their technical skill and ability in impressive wins over MS Select (4 v 1) and Alset Columbia (5 v 1). They will face a tough test as they look to maintain their 100% record against County Armagh at Scroggy Road in one of the early kick-offs (3.30pm).
Scotland’s Hibernian have also racked up two wins in the tournament, surprising a few with a 3-0 opening day win over Brazilians Osasco Audax on Day 1, followed up with a 4-0 victory over New Zealanders Otago. With such a healthy goal difference, you wouldn’t bet against any win being enough for Hibs today – they play Strikers FC at Rugby Avenue, Coleraine in today’s 5pm kick-off.
Two county sides have 100% records to date following derby wins last night. Antrim followed up their opening day defeat of Club America with a 2-1 defeat of Londonderry, whilst Down edged past Armagh by the same scoreline to add three more points to those picked up against Lusaka Academy of Zambia on Monday.
Both sides are in action at 7pm on Wednesday – County Antrim take on Real Sociedad at Scroggy Road in Limavady, whilst Down face off against New Zealand’s MS Select at Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.
O’Higgins of Chile have scored six and conceded none on Monday and Tuesday, notching up impressive wins over Right to Dream and French side Vendee. The South Americans head to the Showgrounds in Ballymena for tonight’s 7pm kick-off against a County Tyrone side that will still have aspirations of the Cup semi-finals.
Tyrone are one of three sides with one win and one draw from their opening two games. Whilst their chances of making the Cup semi-finals are dependent on results elsewhere, the staggered kick-offs may give them an idea of what is needed. The other sides currently waiting in the wings are Belgium’s KV Mechelen, who take on Club America at 5pm in Castlerock, and Newcastle Utd who get under way against French side Vendee at 3.30pm at the Warren, Portstewart.