John Bailie’s County Down came within a whisker of defeating Newcastle United at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
Goals from Ethan Wynne and Adam Carroll looked set to give Down a remarkable win over the Premier League side, only for the Magpies to score a late, late equaliser for 2-2.
Bailie said: “It’s disappointing to draw 2-2 after leading but I am very proud of the boys.
“We have three group games against teams from three different countries.
“The players will learn so much from playing against a club from Asia and a team from South America.”
Stephen Small’s National Select side’s 1-1 draw with County Fermanagh in Portstewart was one of the stories of the day in the Premier Section.
Spartak Moscow were forced to pull out after they failed to secure visas to travel to the UK.
With just 24 hours notice, the former Cliftonville defender pulled together a squad of local hopefuls.
With no preparation, not a lot was expected, but they managed a 1-1 draw with Fermanagh.
County Londonderry were another local side that made a fine start. They defeated French side, and 2014 finalists, Vendee 3-1 at Scroggy Road in Limavady.
Club America are among the favourites for the Premier title. However, County Tyrone made them work at the Coleraine Showgrounds. The Mexicans eventually ran out 2-1 winners.
Armagh were another county side to taste defeat. They lost 1-0 to a Serie B Select side at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
County Antrim were defeated 1-0 by Brazilian side GO Audax at the Riada in Ballymoney.
American side First Choice Soccer defeated New Zealand team Otago 1-0 in Portrush, while Right To Dream made a winning start by beating Partick Thistle 2-0 in Broughshane.
There was a North American derby in Portstewart, with the Canadians trumping the Americans when FC Edmonton defeated Global Premier Soccer 3-0.
Japanese high school side Ichifuna made a winning start in Ballymena with a 2-1 win over Chilean team Desportes Iquique.