With several regular players out injured and/or not available, we started with a small squad against our old rival Shanghai Marlins FC. Knowing that a draw would be enough to secure the title, we tried to play with a compact defense and wait for a few counter opportunities. Last but not the least, we had 4 youngsters in our starting line-up. For most of them, it was the first time to face the Marlins.
We showed good composure and resilience in the first half. The Shanghai Marlins FC created a few chances but we managed to defend them well. Elvis came close and expected a penalty when he was brought down. It was 0-0 in the first half but we knew that we had to stay focused as one small mistake could cost us the title.
The second half was very high intensity with the match going up and down at a very fast pace. The Marlins pushed a bit more and got some dangerous crosses in from the left… Unfortunately they scored the 0-1 with 20 minutes to go… We didn’t give up and tried to get an equalizer. We did have a few shots on target but were not really dangerous in their box.
It’s our first defeat this year but a costly one as the Shanghai Marlins FC can overtake our position if they beat the Galacticos with a lot of goals in their final match. We were happy with the performance of the youngsters but of course not happy with the result.