We are pleased to announce that Zoely the daughter of our legend Bob was voted best woman player of the U8 tournament at the American School ! Zoely is coached by Azzeddine and its great to see that the hard work at the trainings paid off ! Well done Zoely you are already better than your father ! Keep playing !
It was really hot last Sunday with temperatures well over 35 degrees we were up against the Emerald a great team consisting of football lovers living in the same compound. They had some very good youngsters playing for them and we had to work very hard to get a positive result. By absence of Matze and Mathias we had to look for a new Beckenbauer and in the end we found one in Laid who said the last time he played sweeper was in 1965 ! Luckily we had a solid bench this time and that made it easier for us as players started to come off by themselves due the sizzling heat. Our two girls Therese and Helene played very well and were a refreshing addition to our squad. The first two quarters the game was tied at 0-0 but all the action happened in the third quarter. First Emerald youngster Lucas scored from a corner with a nice header but we gave him a bit too much space. Now it was game on for us and we need to use all our energy we had left to reverse this game. We did that with a quick taken free kick by Juan nicely finished by our top striker Fred. We kept pushing forward and a brilliant solo of Gwenn with a top corner left footed strike give us the lead 2-1. In the fourth quarter we slowed down the pace and defended our lead. Close to the end Lucas of emerald found himself alone against Thierry who tried to scare him a bit and it worked as his effort went wide.
It was a great team effort where everybody contributed to the win and it put us on top of the SPL Veteran League !
Our game plan on Saturday was to win the treble by beating the Shooters in the SIFL Cup. We knew it would be a fitness battle especially with temperatures above 35 degrees. Shooter had fresh legs as they didn’t play the week before whereas we had to go as deep as we could against reunited in our championships game the week before. The game in fact was decided in the first 20 minutes as we didn’t start well and were not focused. Kevin scored from a corner and soon the shooters sliced through our defense. Two nil down it was hard for us however we did manage to get back in the game when Allan scored just before half time. In the second half we tried hard to score the equalizer but it was hard especially when we lost Danni when he was ran into the ground. We came very close after a corner when Allan’s shot was cleared of the line by Kevin the shooters striker. Shooters almost nailed it when Fedj hit our cross bar. In the end it was one game too many for us and we accepted defeat. We will learn from it and come back even stronger.
Despite our loss we stuck together and played with smiles on our face in the SIFL closing tournament. As we still wanted to win three cups with gave it our best shot. The key game was against Azzuri who for the occasion had the professional player Granero in their squad. We edge them 1-0 after a great combination goal finished by Allan. That was a great lift in our spirit and we could lose our last group game and still were sure to be in the final. We did just that and were up against the Shooters again however this time it was their second team ! What a spirit we showed after losing the Cup final and still finding energy and motivation to win this tournament. Our hard work and effort paid off as we beat them 1-0 to win the end of the season SIFL tournament !!
After that it was party time when we collected our trophies. God bless they had a pool ready for us and of course we were thrown in one by one ! These moments are precious memories and that’s all you do it for its only 5 minutes but those are magic moments and the memories last forever !
What an achievement two season unbeaten 36 league games and this season was the hardest where we played Azzurri 4 times, Reunited 4 times, Shooters 4 times and a king of DIB team 3 times……….we did it ! Magic ! The coach of the year title was snatched away from us but we all know where it belongs ! Now it’s in our hearts ! We are one big family !
We are proud to be a Lion and a big thank you to all the players and supporters for all your contributions what a great end of a great season ! Big thank you to our sponsors La Creperie and Tibet Water for their support of this season !
What a day it was last Saturday ! We were up against Reunited in our last game of the season. A win or a draw would be enough for the title a loss would take it away from us. We had an early morning meeting at 900 AM as we opted for a bus ride to the Songjang Stadium. In the morning it was already 26 degrees and when we entered the stadium the temperature was well above 30 degrees with no shade around the pitch we knew it was going to be a hard day……..
We had planned a clear strategy as we wanted to dominate the midfield so we played with 5 midfielders and good old Charlie upfront. From the whistle we took control of the game and it was obvious that the heat took some speed out of the game which was not a bad thing for the Lions as Reunited are known for their fast strikers. Our passing game worked well and we came close after a free kick from Azzeddine but the ball went just over the bar. Reunited couldn’t build up as they liked and opted for long balls which were easy targets for our rock solid defense. It was a fast combination on the right which put Charles in a scoring position and he didn’t let us down and scored with a low strike. We didn’t know how important the goal proved to be but…….! Soon after Romain came one on one with the keeper but his lob was not strong enough. It was 1-0 at half time and for once we had kind of dressing room as we found a small cave. The half time talk was clear we were 45 minutes away from the title and it was up to us to take ! We all agreed but two minutes in the second half disaster struck as Dave reacted when a Reunited played grabbed him by his neck. It was red and not a pleasant feeling to play the rest of the game with 10 Lions in the sizzling heat ! What evolved was a heroic display of fighting spirit of each single Lion on the pitch. An incredible performance with Azzeddine alone upfront still managing to create havoc. We came close a few occasions but were desperate to make it to the finish line ! Reunited had the last chance of the game but they shot wide. Credit to Reunited who kept chasing us in the title race until this last game.
The final whistle and what a great feeling it was ! Just a few minutes to celebrate all the hard work we did this season on the pitch. The bus ride back was very pleasant and we had a great brunch at our sponsor La Creperie. After that the Lions disappeared into the night life of Shanghai.
We are now 36 games unbeaten (two seasons !) and over 3 season we only lost one game against DIB those are unbelievable records and we can say that we are leaving our foot print in Shanghai !
After the game we all agreed that we are not done yet as we want to go for the treble. We will get it if we beat the Shooters this coming Saturday in the SIFL Cup final lets come and support the Lions in their final game of this great season !
It was great weather ! However we were running low on numbers as we got some last minute cancelations and the Lions played in the SPL the same time. So we were 12 only but all were on time and Jeremy even came out straight from Paris to the pitch ! Yes we even did a warming up and it seemed to do magic to our team. In the first twenty minutes we were up 3-0 goals from Fred 2x and Michael. After that Japanese team started to play better and the game was more even. We stayed focus in defense not willing to give away a goal. Fred made it 4-0 and it was good to see him back at his best. A few minutes later Gwenn’s cross was kicked into their own goal by a Strosso player to make it 5-0. In the last minutes of the game people tried hard to let the President score but he was unlucky in the finishing… hitting the cross bar and some birds ! At the end out of sympathy with Strosso Bob passed the ball back to a Japanese player to put him one on one with our goalie Thierry but he saved it to keep our sheet clean !! It was a good performance from the legends we will have our last game of the first part of the season on June 14th versus Emerald at 1100 !