Some games are meant never to be remembered and some others you’ll never forget. Last Saturday game was one of those… the kind of game that seals the fighting spirit of a team. The playing conditions were almost impossible due to heavy rain conditions which started on Friday. As you can see from the pictures, it was kind of apocalyptic throughout the entire game. The opponent was Azzurri FC and they were very motivated to give us a hard time.
In the first few minutes, both teams realized that the ball wouldn’t roll and would get stuck in the mud. The lions got a very early lead with an easy tip-in for Azz when the Azzurri tried to defend but forgot the field conditions. However, the Azzurri started to put pressure with the wind in their back and took advantage of a defensive hesitation of the Lions and scored the equalizer. Suddenly the Azzurri smelled blood… While we still tried to play football on this impossible pitch, the Azzurri figured out that it was all about fighting spirit, hard tackles & long balls into the box. They got their reward on a good counter-attack and took a 1-2 lead just before half time. With the rain pouring and knowing that only a win would do for the Championship, the only option left for the last 45 minutes was to fight until we would drop dead!
All the Azzurri could do in the second half was trying to defend their lead. The lions kept pushing forward and got several corners and freekicks. Fresh legs game from our bench which was a big help in this game as the pitch was so heavy. On a free-kick from Azz flying directed into the box, Charles managed to skit the ball in the top corner despite showing his back to the net. While Charles’ celebration lasted until the next day, we were all thinking that he doesn’t score a lot of goals but as long as he scores important ones like that, we are happy 😉 Now our fighting spirit was even more lifted and it was like the lions were smelling blood… On another brilliant free-kick from Azz, instead of crossing into the box, he played it wide to Erwin who didn’t hesitate to score the winner in front of his family watching.
When the final whistle was there it was the end of one of the best 45 minutes display of fighting spirit lions management team ever witness… All that was left was a happy feeling and one step closer to the SIFL title! Credit goes to the Azzurri as well who gave it all and never gave up. After the game, Dani checked his new activity device connected to his iPhone and it stated that he ran 40km during the game, we wonder where it was made…….most likely in China!
Now we have three games left and we will focus on them one by one! Our next game will be versus the Krauts on May 10th if we continue to work hard at the training, keep our fighting spirit & focus we can make another step in the right direction!
On Sunday the Veteran Lions played under the same hard condition versus a Japanese team called Super 48. The Lions were low on numbers but managed a solid 7-1 win helped by 4 Lions U17 players who played excellently. Jamie our goalie on that day managed to score from a corner in the last minute of the game. The cross came from Yuito our 15-year-old Japanese player right on Jamie’s head. Great way to end a game and great to see Jamie score after his long struggle with his knee operation.
It’s good to be a Lion!