Lions do the minimum job in SPL

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[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 3 – 2 FC Shanghai Super 48

191117 123Beautiful Sunday afternoon and the first game of the season on the JQ pitch to play MMFC.

With no keeper available, we started with Azz as goalie… We had the ball in the first half but we struggled to score. MMFC was proceeding in counter attacks with their fast forwards. A nice save of Azz on a 1 to 1 woke us up and Tevz finally delivered us. Despite a few more opportunities for us, we reached the half-time with only 1-0.

We needed more creativity! We decided to put Fred in the goal and have Azz on the field. Terao also came in to bring more intensity in the midfield. We immediately got opportunities but due to our lack of efficiency the score did not change. Finally, after an acceleration of Shingai, Kad let the ball pass for Azz who could finish for the 2-0! Unfortunately, MMFC team who was playing better and better, saw that we were struggling to score. They got confidence and forced us to play lower… On one of their fast attack, their right forward, on a nice ball behind our defense, reduced the score to 2-1. They kept attacking and a few minutes later, we were happy to see their striker kick the ball over our goal… On one of our attacks, Shingai got tackled in the box. Azz transformed the penalty kick for the 3-1. But our opponents kept attacking and after a good combination on the right wing, they could score with a soft ball after hitting the post for the 3-2. The game ended with another victory for us!! Our opponents played well and it reminds us that there’s no easy game!!!

 

Have a nice week and see you on Tuesday evening!
Thomas Z.

Legends almost Champions

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[ VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 1 – 1 Japan FC

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It was going to be a very hard game for the Legends against a super fit and fast Japan. Japan needed to win in order to have a chance to win the SPL Veteran Championship. For the Lions a win or a draw would be good ! We adjusted our tactics and played with 5 in the midfield and only Bob on top. Our aim was not to go 1-0 down early in the game and play our tactics as long as we could.

In the first 20 minutes it was hard as Japan fielded their best players but we stood up to the challenge. Clement had some fine saves and we ended it 0-0 according to our plan.

In the second 20 we got more opportunities and it was Laid with outside foot wonder strike giving us the lead ! Now it was easier for us as we had a cushion.

B1F313B3-0B6C-47F1-920D-6B1E64998A46-312-0000000BB02BE6B7_tmpIn the third 20 minutes we were the better side and unfortunately we lost Kevin due to an injury and we wish him a speedy recovery. However we needed some great saves from Clement again to keep us ahead.

In the last 20 we knew Japan would go all out to get the 2 goals they needed and they got one when a flew over the box  rip on someone’s head and fall into our net ! Not much time left but it was still nerve wrecking. Our president who came in the last 5 minutes almost scored with a surprise lob but the keeper was alert ! The final whistle came as a relief for the Legends !

As we have one more match to go against the Emerald and only a 17-0 loss we keep us away from the title. Of course we will go for the win against them and have some nice beers after the match. Pascal our unfortunate injured keeper will come and watch the game to add to the celebration !

See you all next Sunday and of course Tuesday at the trainings !

Cheers
Happy Freek

Legends beat Scotland 5-1 to go on top of the SPL Veteran

12112017 049[ VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 5 – 1 Shanghai Scottish

It was a perfect day weather wise as the sky was blue and pollution was close to zero. We had a solid squad and were happy to have Clement to be stand in goalie after Pascal was so unfortunate to have snapped his Achilles the week before. Also it was good to see Thomas Gauthier back on the field after a long absence due to a knee operation !

12112017 036Scotland started slow and we adjusted in the first 10 minutes to their game which was not our intention. However after we got awarded a penalty which Bob converted we started to play good football ! Bob scored his second and James, our birthday boy (46), scored a third. Of course 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes is a good result.

Scotland did cause us some problems as they managed a few times to get behind our defense but Clement made a good save and the Scottish didn’t finish the final ball on target. James scored a superb header after an excellent cross from Kevin. The Scots got one back which they deserved at the point of time and Kader who tried to shoot with his left foot and later with his right decided not to use his feet any longer scored with a nice header to make the final score 5-1 !

Time to celebrate and to have some beers with Max who came over after he completed the Shanghai Marathon in 4.28 in the morning !

Next Sunday we play Japan and we can clinch the tittle !

The standing after yesterdays games :

  • Lions 7 played 21 points + 42 goal difference
  • Japan 8 played 21 points + 26 goal difference
  • Emerald 8 played 18 points + 30 goal difference

 

Lets all come to the training and be ready for this weekend massive game against Japan!

 

Cheers
Freek

Young Lions showed great spirit despite the loss

[ YOUTH ] AKSIL ReUnited 7 – 3 Shanghai Lions FC

Last Friday our young Lions were up against Reunited ! We had a large squad and our intention was to let everybody subject we had a favorable score. The problem we faced was that Reunited had several players close to the senior level which made it hard for most of our youngster. One or two years makes a big difference in the football development and physics !

We started the game well with Matty and Till on top and we played good combinations. Julia, our captain, played solid in the middle trying to block the reunited midfielders. After 30 minutes Reunited opened to score with a low strike hard to stop for Sam our goalie ! Just before the end of the first half we got a poor decision of the referee against us and he gave Reunited a penalty. It was 2-0 at half time.

We felt that we were still in the game as long as we could get one goal back. This was our intention in the second half but ten minutes in we got a justified penalty against us. This goal was a real blow to us and it was hard to keep our fighting spirit alive. But with Shingi coming in we started a revival offense and got two great goals back to make it 3-2 ! However too soon after it they scored 4-2 and 5-2… We created more opportunities and scored one more goal as well Matty hit the post with a fine placed strike. Our substitutes were on their toes all the time to cheer on the team which was great to see !

In the end it was 7-3 for them but we gained a lot of experience from the match and our fighting spirit was impressive ! That’s why we still could smile after the match despite losing !

This Friday we are invited by Dulwich Earthquakes to play a friendly match at their grass field 19:00 kick off ! There will be food and drinks organized by them after the match so parents are more than welcome to join the event !

We will work hard at training to get better and better !

Coach
Freek

Lions Legends enjoyed the “9th Shanghai Masters Cup”

Lions,

Its important to our club to represent the Lions in tournaments ! Last Saturday it was the turn to the Lions Legends who participated in the “9th Shanghai Masters Cup” organized by Super 48 one of the large Japanese clubs in Shanghai. The tournament was 11 aside with a total of 12 teams and it was for players above 40 ! So it was great to see that we had a great squad of Lions Legends ready to play on such beautiful pitch and weather in Tianma! The games were 20 minutes only so we needed to have a good strategy in place to make it to the finals ! Our target was to keep a clean sheet all the way and score first !

 

In our first game against Super 48 we did just that as Fred our captain opened the score with a rare header and soon it was our President who blasted a very good build up from right to left and a step over up in the top of the net ! He thought he would get the oldest scorer award as he just celebrated his 54th b-day last week but saw the it clinched by a Japanese player of 58 years old ….. !!! guess our president needs to play another 4 years at least ! After our 2-0 victory we learned that the women who played against us was Mizuki Noguchi, the Japanese Gold medal winner of the marathon Athens 2004 winner ! amazing and of course we took the opportunity to take a picture with her and the legends !

In our second game we found it harder to score as the Japanese team defended with 10 players however our never give up attitude paid off as James blasted home the winner with only two minutes to go on the clock !

In our third game against the Shuzou Kickers we made some changes in the team and replacing Gwen on the left wing paid off as his replacement Sylvain scored in two minutes ! Fred made it 2-0 to get our third clean sheet and a victory !!

Due to a lucky draw we went straight to the semi finals against a strong Japanese team but we played our best game of the day ! Our right back Francois opened the score after 5 minutes when he went up unexpected and soon Gwen was launched one on one against the Japanese Keeper and didn’t miss….! 2-0 it was and 2-0 it stayed to set us up in the final !

The final was up against the Emerald our old rival who beat the strong Japanese team on penalties in the other semi final ! Tactics were the same clean sheet and score first… however they scored on an incredible counter two passes launched their striker who had an incredible shot flying in ! The Lions did fight back but struggled as the referee was very young and weak and didn’t dear to make decisions against the emeralds who made a couple of fouls on our play makers…

Time ran out we ended the tournament second with only one goal conceded and a lot of fun and friendship which of course is the most important ! Next time we will hope the luck is on our side and for sure we will try again !

Next up our senior team will play a tournament in Phuket this weekend and we wish them all the best !

Obvious we need all Lions the come the training this week so we can prepare for our important last games of 2017 !

 

Cheers
Freek

[Lions Abroad] Joel Zielke

Outside of Wrigley Field – Home of the Chicago Cubs

Interview of Joel Zielke

FB: When did you leave China ?
JZ: After 7 years in Shanghai, we left in June 2014.

FB: Where do you live now ?
JZ: We moved back to my hometown of Elmhurst, IL.  It is about 20 miles West of downtown Chicago.  My family is all within 30 minutes of here so it is very nice to get together with my parents, siblings and my nephews on a regular basis.

FB: Still two kids or more in the pipe line ?
JZ: Still two.  Kylee is now 7 and Paxton is 4. They keep us busy.  They have started their soccer careers and it is a lot of fun to watch them play.

FB: What do you miss the most from China ?
JZ: I miss our friends from Concordia and the Lions family!  I always looked forward to game day on Sundays!

Our HS team won the Illinois State Championship in 2015

FB: What do you not miss at all beside the pollution ?
JZ: The traffic and congestion.  It is nice to have some personal space again!

FB: Are you still coaching soccer ? or playing in the USA ?
JZ: I am an Assistant coach for a HS team at Timothy Christian Schools where Trixy teaches and our kids go to school.  I haven’t found time or a good club to play with yet…

FB: Heard you changed your job how is the new job ?
JZ: The new job is great.  I am now selling Real Estate with Berkshire Hathaway.  The flexible schedule allows me to spend more time with my kids.  Let me know when you guys are ready to buy some US property!  

FB: In the Lions you were famous for your power and goal scoring capability ?  What was in your mind the best goal you scored.
JZ: That is a hard one…  I was always proud of all of my goals – especially PKs and headers I scored off of set pieces.  The ones that stick out more than anything are the ones I missed… I remember a free kick I took from about 30 yards out.  I hit it so hard it drilled off the cross bar and flew back over my head!

FB: I remember one game you exceptionally lost it against the referee was it because of the referee or because of you own state of mind ?
JZ: Kevin!!! I am usually pretty level headed.  I must have had enough of getting taken out from behind.  So clearly it was the referee…

FB: Do you remember any specific game you played with the Lions more than the other games ?
JZ: The championship games really stick out in my mind.  It was always fun winning the title and the celebration afterwards.

FB: Did the coach put you on the bench sometimes ?
JZ: My first season as a Lion I didn’t play much.  That was when Brian was still coaching.  We all know he didn’t make the best decisions…  I think I might have been benched once after that.

FB: You woke up bathing in sweat and realized you had a nightmare about the Lions ! What was the nightmare about ?
JZ: We didn’t win the Title!  Thankfully we always did!!!

FB: Usually topscorers of a team tend to be selfish but in your case it’s the opposite how did you manage to score so many goals for the Lions ?
JZ: I have always found it more fun to get everyone involved in the game.  I always had a strong desire to outwork the opponent and win!  I probably could have scored a few more goals but we had so many talented players it was not always necessary. 

FB: How was life without Trump and How is life with Trump ?
JZ: I don’t watch the news and don’t feel any difference in policy on a daily basis.  My biggest concern is with North Korea.  I hope that doesn’t escalate into something horrific!

FB: Have you met any other Lions in the USA since you left ?
JZ: Unfortunately I have not.  The International Champions Cup comes through Chicago every summer.  I am waiting for the Lions to get a spot in the tournament! 

We are thinking about a trip back to Shanghai in the Spring of 2018 or 2019.  Hopefully you can squeeze me on the field for a few minutes!

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