SIFL standings as of Mid April 2015
It was freezing cold last Sunday with a strong wind from Siberia cleaning the air ! In the morning our legends had a friendly game versus a mixed Japanese side. In the early part of the game most players were frozen and combined with the age it was funny too watch as nobody could keep the ball under control. Bob scored the 1-0 and that was the score for a long time until the president himself playing as a right back showed the strikers how to score with a nice header ! The best goal of the day was a great combination play started from the back line with about 8 passes nicely finished by Bob again. It was a good exercise and we are getting ready for the veteran league starting after the CNY !
In the SPL we faced the Galacticos. Until Sunday morning we were not sure whether they could field a team as we got messages about them having only 5 players. Luckily they managed to find a stand in Chinese team willing to play ! In the first half we dominated the game and took a 3-0 lead scored by Nico and Terrao who specially flew in from Beijing for the game and Max our youngster. In the second half they got a goal back but Garret blasted a rocket in the top corner and Dave scored a memorable goal when he passed the ball back to the Galacticos but instead of passing it back the ball ended in the goal ! Max scored his second to made it a solid 6-1 win and we got our third win in a row with only one goal conceded !
Let’s all come to training and keep the upward momentum !
We knew it was going to be a hard game as Long Tang was able to put a very strong team out on the pitch. Playing against Chinese teams is always hard as they don’t play all the time and sometimes it looks like they are not interested at all the play. That’s how the game started with a very slow pace and the Lions were almost put asleep unfortunately the trigger point in the game came from a foul on Charles as a Long Tang player decided to print his studs in Charles leg. A furious Charles pushed the guy away. Final result and a correct decision from the Chinese referee was a sending off for the Long Tang player and a yellow for Charles. All was good for us of course with one player more but 2 minutes later a still enraged Charles stuck out his feet to trip an attacking player and he got himself send off. So it was 10 vs 10 for the rest of the 70 minutes !
Just before half time we got our goal thru Azzeddine 1-0 and that gave us hope for the second half. All though Long Tang was dangerous on the break the Lions created several clear goal scoring opportunities and should have nailed the game. The cross bar and the post stood in the way and as it goes in football if you fail to take your chances you get punished on the other side. That’s what happened when we didn’t clear a ball in defense and gave away a simple goal !
Luckily for the Lions we kept our 5 points lead with 7 games to go as Reunited drew with the Azzurri 0-0.
Let’s all come to training this week and make sure we get our sharpness back ! On Thursday it’s party time for our LIONS CNY party at our sponsor “La Creperie”. On Saturday we will play the Azzurri in a cup tie it will be guaranteed a good game of football !
The time has come to celebrate CNY and we will do so with a very special program on Thursday Feb. 12th 2015 starting from 7.30pm at La Creperie on 1 Taojiang lu, close to Dongping lu, opposite of the Camel. We go to this one (and not the Jing’an one) because there are the Awards of the BEST SPORT TEAM 2014 in Shanghai at the Camel bar around 9.30pm. We have every intention on winning this award, so we hope to go to the Camel bar after our dinner at our sponsor La Creperie to collect it as a a team.
Summary of the program:
7.30pm: meeting at La Creperie (1 Taojiang lu, close to Dongping lu)
7.30 to 9.30pm: dinner at La Creperie (same 150 rmb deal as before)
9.30 to 10.30pm: Awards ceremony at Camel Bar (just opposite of La Creperie)
Please reply asap to let us if you come alone or with someone, as we need to communicate to our sponsor the exact number of people who will come.
It was Shanghai 2000 who ended the incredible 35 unbeaten run in the SPL for the Lions last September. After that we had a period of mixed results but it looks like that the start of a new year brought the confidence back and the Lions started to show good football again.
Obvious the Lions were motivated for this game and started strong with a solid defense and a controlling midfield. Both teams got a few opportunities but it stayed 0-0 at half time. It was Dave who opened the score for the Lions in the second half after a good free kick of Azzeddine. After that it was an open game with both side going for a win. Lions were pushed back on a few occasions and started to play on the counter attack. It was one of those counters that resulted in a free kick after a Shanghai 2000 defender back passed the ball to the goalie who picked it up. Azzeddine had no problem to convert it and gave the Lions a well-deserved 2-0 lead. Positive on the day was also the performance of the youngsters who received compliments from both sides after the game. It looks like we start to find the right balance in the team with talented youngster combined with the experience of the older players.
We are looking forward to the next game versus the Galacticos 1200 kick off at Century Park !
We had a big game last Saturday as were up against our closest competitor of this season. Re-united are known for the fast strikers and therefore we had to adjust the our strategy in order not the be caught out on speed with our defense. With big John helping out on the coaching side the Lions started well controlling the midfield and keeping the ball in possession for long spells. In the 15th minutes the Lions managed to put their striker Romain one on one at the keeper. The Reunited keeper had no choice but to foul him and Azzeddine converted the penalty to give the Lions the lead. After the goal the less still dominated the game and Reunited only had one shot wide until the 35th minutes when a free kick sailed in the goal helped by the strong wind, 1-1 ! Actually this “lucky” goal motivated the Lions and they stepped up their game to another level. As we have seen a few times this season good combination football can lead to great goals and this time no exception. Good combinations followed by a great cross from Romain ended on the head of Matthieu and he scored what later proved to be the winner !
With the win in our back the Lions held out strong in the second half to defend their lead. Reunited didn’t come close but had a few shots from outside the box. However with 5 minutes to go disaster struck as a the referee spotted a handball from Fabie after a Reunited corner. God bless we had DIM our goalie who is having one of his best seasons ever as he stopped the penalty after he chose the right corner. After the game it was all happiness as we are now 5 points clear and still unbeaten with 10 games played and 26 points !
Up next will be Long Tang who we have not played yet / Lets all come to training to keep working hard to improve our game week by week !
Don’t forget to vote for the Lions http://awards.thatsmags.com/
Cheers Happy Freek
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