Despite the hot weather (32 degrees), we had a great setting on the grass field of Jinqiao with 17 teams participating in the SPL & SPL V end season tournament ! After a busy month of May with 4 consecutive games in a row, it was finally time to relax. With a small squad, our target was still to win this 7 aside end season tournament. Alex helped out as keeper and Max made his comeback after his ruptured his achilles last year.
First match was a good warming up with a win but we blew it in the second match as England scored on its only and single opportunity… While we pushed forward for the equilazer, the ball didn’t want to get in and we lost 0-1. Despite we won 2-1 the last game of the group stage, England ended top of the group and later won the tournament !
All was fine as the ice cold beer tasted extremely well after the matches and we were ready for the price ceremony ! The last cup of the day was for our legends with the SPL V championship cup ! We took a lot of nice pictures with our families/friends and ended up at Pistolera for more drinks & margaritas ! Great way to end a Great Season !
We took advantage of the dragon boat festival and the good weather at the same time. We got a great location at the Donjiao state guest house where we booked to BBQ pitch next to a small soccer field ! We got great catering from Yasmin’s Steak House and plenty of ice-cold drinks. Almost every player made it and we were pleased to have many parents showing up as well ! The evening ended with an Oscar type nomination where the envelopes of each category were opened by the parents.
Best Goalkeeper Noel
Best Defender George
Best Midfielder Julia
Best Attacker Gordon
Top Scorer Matty
Most Assist Jason
Most Improved Paul
Most Unlucky David
Best Hair Cut Matthew
The Icing on the cake was our U18 Championship Trophy which was celebrated with everybody !
Great end of a great season ! We hope to see you all back after the summer break !
Our U15 match got cancelled due to a meazle outbreak at some Shanghai International School but the weather was too nice not to play… Then, we came up with the ideas to invite the parents to play. It was an entertaining match with plenty of goals & misses. Everyone played really well including the parents 😉
Last Sunday was the last game of the season and we wanted to end the season championship with a win ! The heat was not helping us as the Japanese got a good squad (especially in defense) and we knew they could run for hours.
We started very well in the first 10 mn passing the ball around quickly and making the Japanese players to run after it ! However our finishes were not surgical enough and all our balls ended up in the Japanese goalie hands. Soon we started looking for difficult options and lost our pace. Japan was sitting back and waited for a counter chance. Our golden moment came when Japan attacked and we quickly countered and put Bob free on the keeper able to choose either side of him but he choose the keeper whom deflected the ball on Fred who hit the post.
In the 2nd quarter, our focus was to score from set pieces (especially corners) where we have massive potential at the second post with Laid, Fabi, Francois & James but we missed to get the balls to them… Spirit was going down, heads were going down and Japan got the best chance to take the lead with a perfect cross flying over Laid but Yamada missed the ball for a few missing hair ! 0-0 at half time so more angry faces…
In the third 20 mn we struggled as we lost our passing game completely and Japan played more forward and got very close to scoring but twice Masa-san cleared from the goal line after Ben was already passed !
In the last 20 mn we made it clear its the last 20 minutes of the season and we need to win this match and we played 3 in the back with Fabi, Laid, Masand and putted 4 players upfront. We got several opportunities and the relief came from a perfect corner (finally…) to set up Laid and or James for the final header and James just did that ! In the end the victory felt good especially the cleansheet.
Well done Legends and now lets celebrate the season championship and party next Sunday for the end of season tournament & ceremony.
We all knew before the game that a win will help us secure our 2nd SPL Veteran title in a row ! In the meantime, it was also clear that Scotland would not be easy and would use any kind of tactics according to what they see as rigth or wrong ! We started with a solid defense where Sylvain took the role of “new daddy” James on the right with Laid & Rommie in the center. As we couldn’t find anybody as left defender we had no choice to put Gwen there.
Our 1st goal was great with a good run of Imad and easy finish from Mamdouh. In the 2nd 20 minutes we kept passing the ball aournd and it worked as the Scottish were running after the ball and ovious were losing energy along the way. With Kevin & Terao in the midfield it was only getting worse for Scotland… Imad scored the 2nd & Bob converted a penalty for the 3rd goal.
In the 3rd 20 minutes, Fred came on with his reborn knees & yellow socks… He scored the 4-0 with a super slow shot hardly seen on the fields nowadays but he has his own theory about his brilliant strike. He soon scored one more but it was ruled off-side. Scotland started to implode running out of battery and Fred got his second after a simple assist from Bob. We kept our firework for the last with Nico as right back coming forward and blast his shot in the roof of the net and the icing on the cake came from Tomas with great shot over the keeper. Champagne was ready and we did give a consolation goal to the Scotts as they kept trying very hard to score despite the score line !
With this win, the SPL Veteran title is ours with one match to go as Emerald are now too far behind ! It was a great result with 10 wins and only 1 loss ! Its a great achievement to be able to have a motivated team each time. Our strong point for this season 2018/2019 has been our consistency on the pitch… Always try being in control of the match and focus from the back to the front !
Thank you Pascal for helping out a few times and lets enjoy our last match next Sunday. The end of the season tournament is in 2 weeks. Let’s all come and get our trophy !
Congratulations to our U18 for winning the SPL Championship for 2 consecutive years in a row. We have been the most consistent team in the league.
Always committed to train & always willing to play.
Several academies cancelled some games in the very last moment… we didn’t cancel any single one !
The key is that we are not an academy but a club of passionate players, parents and coaches and we create a platform of opportunities for players to improve themselves week after week.
We got several U18 players having trained and played league matcthes with the senior team and Noel one of our most committed players being goalie for U15 / U18 and the Seniors !
The best example was todays match against Wiss Stoke City where we actually had five U15 players playing in the U18 team today ! This is what makes the difference and will help each player to improve himself and step up to go to the next level.
We wanted a win against Stoke to secure the SPL Championship. It started well as within 2 mn Yuxuan scored his 1st league goal for U18 after a corner the ball was not cleared well by Stoke and he was alert to tip it in ! The 2nd goal came after Stoke didn’t react following a cross bar free-kick from Philipp… Jason gave a great assist to Matty to make it 2-0. Matty was brought down in the penalty box & our captain Julia stepped up and didn’t hesitate to put the ball in the right top corner !
It was 3-0 at half time and in the second half we wanted to go for the clean sheet and give chances to our younger players to come in ! Matty made it 4-0 but Stoke was better in the second half and created several chances but Noel was alert and saved us a couple of times. Stoke did get a penalty but saw it saved by Noel in the left corner however the referee saw a player in the box and asked for a re take and Noel almost got it in the right corner but the ball went in via the post.
After the game we took a great team picture with players, parents & also talked about our end of the season party in 2 weeks time.