* Shanghai Cosmos (above) promoted to Premier League
* Jordan Campbell scores 5!
* Shanghai United & FC Oranje relegated
- Shanghai Japan FC 1-4 FC Oranje 1-4
- Shanghai Lions FC 2-3 Big Bamboo SH Shooters AFC
- Shanghai 3United 2-0 Shanghai United
- Azzurri FC 2-0 Shanghai ReUnited
- Shanghai Cosmos 13-2 Long Tang AFC
- Happy FC 1-4 Shanghai Vikings FC
- Voodoo Child 3-1 Anzacs FC 3-1
- Shanghai Tianfu FC 1-6 Voodoo
The Shanghai Lions FC faced the Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC. The Lions showed up with a strong squad to try and stop the Shooters unbeaten run in what is now the fourth time these teams have met this season.
The game started and moved quickly from end to end. The Shooters were always looking the more dangerous and Mike McGirr broke the deadlock nicely heading a cross from Wilson Scott into the far corner for 0-1 and that’s how a tight half ended.
The next goal was always going to be important and the Shooters got it soon after the restart. Wilson Scott showed some neat skill to go round the Lions left back before putting it on a plate for Stefan Sturm to side foot home with virtually his first touch of the ball for 0-2.
Their lead was increased minutes later as Wilson Scott helped on a corner swung into the near post. The Lions keeper kicked the header attempting to clear it rebounded off a defender straight into the goal for 0-3.
The Shooters were in firm control but the Lions kept fighting though and with 10mins to go nearly got themselves back into it.
First Simon Spangenberg volleyed in a flick on from a free kick for 1-3 before Azzeddine Takouloufa converted a 20 yard free kick to make it 2-3.
The Shooters held firm though and saw out the game to take all three points with Wilson Scott picking up man of the match honors.
John Jofre, Chris Banyard, Mike McGirr and Roland Broughton are edging nearer to the first Shooters Championship in years.
Benoit Doche: “We will be champions soon and that’s because this season were are the best team, Im so ‘appy I could dance.”
Azzurri FC did battle with Shanghai ReUnited. After about 15mins in, ReUnited had their stand-in keeper sent off when he handled the ball outside the box trying to clear a chip by the Azzurri striker.
From that moment on it was always going to be a struggle for ReUnited. Azzurri scored quickly afterwards via a Guillermo Santamaria strike taking a 1-0 lead and they doubled the score when Anti Hintsanen found the net for 2-0 just before halftime.
ReUnited responded positively in the second period and if they had converted one of their chances at the beginning of the half, they could have gotten back into to the game to turn things around.
The game ended 2-0 with Guillermo Santamaria picking up man of the match honors. With this win Azzurri jumped the Lions in the standings and moved to fourth spot.
With 10 men for most of the match it was just a too big a mountain to climb for ReUnited and their title hopes took a huge blow with this defeat. The Azzurri took to Cages to celebrate their win and met up with the orange crew for a thrilling Third-Half@Cages!
Above: Azzurri goal scorers Anti Hintsanen and Guillermo Santamaria. Andrea Speranza: “We should be leading the charts as no one played better than us recently.”
Shanghai Japan FC locked horns with FC Oranje. The Dutch took to the field with keeper number nine this season; Lolo Barranco. The team was further strengthened with a lethal striker.
The Oranje keeper was being tested from the get go and had to make a great save in the opening phase when Tomoyuli Hirai was played free on the right for a one on one. Keeper Barranco kept his goal clean and that inspired the Dutch greatly. Something was brewing.
At the half hour mark, Mubanga Vwalika beat the Japan offside trap and moved in the box for a one on one. In a last ditch effort to keep his goal clean the Japan stand-in keeper took out the ball and the striker as well and a penalty was what followed.
Berto Mose stepped up and converted the spot kick taking a 0-1 Oranje lead. A reversal of fortunes for the men in orange as they suddenly found themselves one nil up instead a goal down.
Aaron Breeds then seemed to score but it was ruled offside. He was not going to be denied the second time though as Mubanga got him the ball on the left. Breeds went passed a defender then took a shot that found the net doubling the Dutch score to 0-2 and that’s how an entertaining half ended.
In the second half, Japan put more men on the midfield forward pressing Oranje’s back four and after about 15mins their pressure yielded when they worked the ball in the back of the net. However it was ruled offside as well and 0-2 it stayed.
Japan’s pressing left them somewhat exposed at the back and Oranje capitalized on that via a quick counter. Mubanga played the ball to Mose on the left who slotted home at the near post for 0-3.
Mose then got the ball a few meters outside the box on the left, he took a look at the keeper and curled the ball at the far post for 0-4 completing his hattrick (below).
With a minute on the clock Coach took the field. Japan promptly scored a consolation goal when Hirai lined up behind a free kick on the left just outside the box. He shot it perfectly over the wall at the near post and determined a final 1-4 score line.
Oranje’s Tank Zhang picked up man of the match honors with amazing control on difficult pitch. Below: Berto Mose, Tank Zhang, Tomoyuki Hirai & Aaron Breeds. Tank: “I’m the tallest.”
The victory meant the mother of all streaks was finally broken. A 300% jump from the nil, the biggest gain made on the day. Reasons for massive celebrations as the Oranje franchise ushered in a new age orange dawn.
Winning ways continued a few days later as the Oranje Latino combination clinched the first ever Cages 4v4 Silver Cup. Moises Merida, Tom Bus, Jeroen van Zanden and Luis Narino. Bus: “OK not gold but I can tell you there is nothing wrong with my hands there is absolutely no problem there.”
It was also the first time in SIFL history that both Cages teams recorded victories in the Premier League. All took to the pub for the legendary Third-Half@Cages. Guess who won? Oranjeboom was there!
The Cages 4v4 Gold Cup final was being contested by T10 (blue) and Ola with T10 captained by Willem Wolleswinkel winning the final 7-5.
Wolleswinkel (above left): “My middle name is Van Basten and T10 were simply the best in the first ever Cages 4v4”.
Shanghai 3United locked horns with Shanghai United. The first half was a battleground of physicality, high-speed winds, uneven patches of hard ground and a myriad of attacks launched against both defensive lines.
Both teams were eager to get a first half goal but it just wasn’t written in the stars. Both teams created chances but neither side were able to convert and the half ended with a 0^0 spectacle score.
In the second half, 3United came out dominating, consistently defending and pushing through the United ranks. Around the 60th minute, Armando Chiu was finally able to break the stalemate when he shot a short corner towards goal that spun in for a 1-0 3U lead.
United found a second wind after conceding the goal and for the next ten minutes really tested the 3U midfield and backline looking for the equalizer.
However, the 3U defense was solid and cleared all offensive threats. With 15mins to play the momentum of the game tipped back to 3United.
Kenny Barnabee received a loose ball in the box and left footed a grounding ball into goal for 2-0 to seal 3United’s lead and that’s how the match ended. Derek Yesionowski (below) picked up man of the match honors.
With this win 3U have secured Premier League presence for next season. Yesionowski: “All the hard work to stay competitive in a higher division is rewarded filling the squad with elation and pride.”
Shanghai Cosmos were pitted against Long Tang AFC. Cosmos came into this game wary of Long Tang’s recent good form and knowing that a win would seal promotion.
Long Tang’s squad of approximately 28 could have startled Cosmos’ nerves. However, Jordan Campbell’s pure hattrick inside 14mins settled the nerves, with the pick of the three a clever chip over the outrushing keeper and a 3-0 Cosmos lead.
After Jonny Sellars’ brilliant fourth – a spin and first time finish on the edge of the box, his simple headed fifth and an epic 40-yard own goal, Cosmos found themselves 6-0 up after 40mins.
Cosmos went into halftime knowing that the game should be safe, despite captain Jasper Verdam (#5) voicing his dissatisfaction about Cosmos not living up to his totaalvoetbal expectations.
In the second half, Cosmos veteran and former manager, Chris Colman, was brought on to captain the Cosmos in his final game before moving back to Europe. Best wishes mate!
However, it was 55-year-old Ant Spark’s pace down the right that proved the difference early on and his cross found Campbell for 7-0. Shortly after, Criss Kang’s lack of activity was put to the test and he came out second best, giving Long Tang something to celebrate at 7-1.
Striker Adam Stringer spent much of the game praying to Elvis to give him a goal. His prayers were answered after 55mins, when he met Jonny Sellars cross for 8-1 and then Conor Maye’s pass for 9-1.
Shortly after, the two remaining members of the Bogan Triumvirate were introduced and it didn’t take long for Shaun ‘B Rabbit’ Kastelijn to make an impact. Stringer’s ‘deity’ obviously told him not to be selfish and he turned provider for B Rabbit to make it 10-1.
Coach and part time footballer, Ryan Morgan, played in Campbell for 11-1, before Tom ‘Hodor’ Morris, found the other bogan, Peter ‘Straight Red’ Bradford, for 12-1.
Not content with his name not appearing on the score sheet, Jasper Verdam, gleefully headed into his own net for 12-2, proving he really is a ‘total footballer’.
Maye then played in B Rabbit with his fifth assist of the game for a 13-2 final score. The only disappointment of the day was the lack of Fireball at the second home of the Cosmos, Yong Kang Lu Tap House. Man of the match honours went to Jordan Campbell with 5 goals!
Happy FC crossed swords with Shanghai Vikings FC. The Vikings left nothing to chance and prepped themselves well before the match. Once the game got underway the furry of the Vikings became evident.
Adebowale Adewale found the net twice while Christopher Mitchell and Christopher Gumppenberg both scored once for a 0-4 Vikings lead at halftime.
HFC regrouped somewhat in the second half and their defense denied further Vikings scoring. However they continued the scoring with an own goal. The match ended with a 1-4 score line. Adewale (#89) picked up man of the match honors.
Shanghai Tianfu FC were pitted against Voodoo. A late kick off meant that it could have all kicked off in the Shanghai heat but thankfully the Tianfu keeper threw the only punches. Even still it took 45mins for both sides to calm down and relax enough to play football instead of being a gang of bellends.
The score at that point was 1-1 but those disappointed by the poor return on goals could console themselves with the number of bookings, drop-balls, and rash challenges from a fullback who was being egged on by the Vikings in full voice.
Bad decisions (from every single player, the officials and the watching Vikings alike) had marred the first half but a chance to regroup and rethink saw Voodoo look more purposeful from the restart, creating chance after chance. In time the goals followed – five in the second half without reply for a 6-1 win.
Olivier Courades, the third most French Frenchman on the pitch got a goal and two assists, Jack ‘The Sheriff’ Webster scored a goal of the season contender.
There was a debut goal and assist for Smoggy Ryan Annandale and a debut yellow for Froggy Pierre Ferrand. Jonny White scored a hattrick that may have had a helping hand from one of the Tianfu keeper’s windmills.
A good win at the end of the day but definitely a game of two halves. The less said about the first, the better. Xiwei Wang scored for Tianfu and Jonny White picked up man of the match honors.
Voodoo Child were slotted against the Anzacs FC. VC were missing many injured souls including tactical genius Kam currently in Trumpland with his girlfriend advising on nutritional benefits of fast food.
However a first for VC they started the game knowing exactly what they should be doing and no one had been offended in the pre-match team talk with all names being remembered – well done to Cossack it’s a tough act to follow.
VC started brightly with Rob Thomas offering a great outlet down the right side and Kristian Larsen making his first voodoo start in three years. Thomas then picked up the ball just inside the Anzacs half and fed it to Santa who slotted it past the keeper for a 1-0 VC lead.
Soon after Ned Kelly stepped up and delivered the most delightful ball to Tony Waygood who sweetly placed it in the bottom left corner for 2-0 and that’s how the first half ended. Another VC first at halftime – they were not lambasted for any individual fault.
In the second half, VC struck again with Andy Rodriguez picking up a loose ball in the box and slotting it home for 3-0. VC were in control but then had a man sent off for a petulant kick and continued the contest with 10 men.
The Anzacs started to build momentum while panic set in for VC in the final 40mins. The Anzacs then got a free kick just outside the box. Jon Banks lined up behind the ball and put it away getting a goal back at 3-1.
This led to more panic from VC however with committed players such as Doto Pandan (fresh from Oakham Curry Club initiation) who just never gave up one can see that this team is not just poppadum thin!
The last 15mins were full kitchen-sink tactics as the Anzacs threw everything at it but they couldn’t get the vital second goal. VC stood firm and saw the result through, not in the least by some great goalkeeping from the DanZak Queen.
The match ended with a 3-1 score line with Tony Waygood picking up man of the match honors. The Anzacs ended up 5th in the standings while Voodoo Child will finish above Voodoo this season, bragging rights for the entire summer!
As is tradition, the Anzacs went to back to the Grand Yard Bar and raised a glass in remembrance of Anzac Day-lest we forget!
Shanghai International Football League