Host China Victorious in Youth Olympic Games Opener

(ATR) China shut out Mexico 2-0 in Nanjing in the first match of girls' football group play on Thursday night.

(ATR) The host country came away a winner in its Youth Olympic Games opener in Nanjing on Thursday night.

China shut out Mexico 2-0 in the first match of girls' football group play, the country's first competition of the 2014 YOG. It was just the second event of the entire Games. Venezuela opened play with a 7-0 drubbing of Papua New Guinea in a match played immediately prior to the host's debut.

The Chinese fans in attendance were boisterous from the start of the match. They waved flags, chanted, and erupted on both scores to make the sparse crowd feel larger in the 22,000-seat Wutaishan Stadium.

One Chinese fan who went by the English name "Mark" called the event "very exciting" for the city.

"I go to college here in Nanjing," he said. "It is good to see support ... for our team from China. I am hopeful they can make it to the gold medal game."

Though competitors in other YOG sports are as old as 18, FIFA runs the tournament as a U-15 affair, giving younger athletes an early look at international competition before hopefully graduating to the U-17 and U-20 levels. Twelve teams - six male, six female - are participating in Nanjing.

Built in 1953, Wutaishan Stadium will host all girls' football matches at the YOG. Boys' football will be played at Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium starting with a pair of Friday matches: Honduras-Iceland and Cape Verde-South Korea.

The YOG Opening Ceremony takes place on Saturday at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center.

Written by Nick Devlin

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