We knew it was going to be a hard match vs. Aksil as our U18 squad is currently having several players who are only 13-14 years old… This being a challenge, it’s good to play against older players so you can learn and see what you still need to work on and improve as a young player! Our game plan was defensive first to make sure we control the midfield and we left Paris our new striker upfront.
We thought he scored the 1-0 in the first 5 minutes but his great placed effort went just wide. We had a few more chances but also were caught out a few times on corners for us where they got the ball first as most of them were taller than our players and the countered very fast. It was a free-kick for them which gave them a 1-0 lead. Soon, while we were trying to build up from our defense we gave them another goal. As it was still early in the game but we were showing some cracks in our team as we focused on the negatives more and forgot about the good things we could do in the match! So with 10 minutes to go in the first half we found ourselves 3-0 down after we couldn’t defend their shot well… it was superb to see the team stand up instead of giving up and they played their best 10 minutes of the match. Paris nicely set up by our midfield players brought us back to 1-3 and a great build-up from our defense on the right with Matt who found Henry who gave a super pass to Paris to make it 2-3 going into the break for half time!
During the half time talk, we asked more effort from all of our players and asked them to step up! We got a few opportunities to level the game but a superb strike of the Aksil player from outside the box put us behind again. In the next 20 minutes, we lost control of the match and Aksil had several shots on target. Kokki our goalie was alert and saved us wherever he could. On the counters, we tried our luck and after a good combination in the midfield they found Yuma-san in the box who with one quick move according to him was fouled “clear penalty”! Mathew Blisset stood up to take the responsibility as one of the older players and he put us back in the game 3-4! With only a few minutes left we kept showing our Lions spirit and were fighting very every ball and all the team effort got rewarded in the very last minute of the match when on the break Yuma and Paris found Daniel who put the ball with a small touch at for the right end of the goal !!
It was a great match to end 4-4 and all of our players learned a lot today but what stood out was we never give up mentality as it was amazing to come back twice from far behind! It was nice to see so many parents and family come out to watch the match despite the very cold weather and we appreciate that very much !! Well done Lions what a great come back and team effort!
Lions, friends & family. It’s time to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome this happy new year 2020! 2019 was a good year for the Lions as we left some footprints everywhere in Shanghai!
Our U16’s started to play very well in the second half of the season as the hard work at the training paid off. First of all our players were fitter and stronger due to Nick’s work out sessions and the tactical two/three touch pieces of training made all players more confidence in the games. Actually, while we were already in mid-June and were done for the season we became Champions as Ebbe Sand our competitor lost their so-called “easy match” against YKFC.
Our U18’s started well from the beginning of the season and were Champions for the second year in a row 10 points clear from number two DEQ. We ended the season with a nice BBQ for players and parents and held a match for the fathers vs. the sons the next day at Concordia.
Our Seniors did well with the help of some of our U18 players including Noel our youth keeper… We got also a lot of students who played with us for 3 to 6 months. However, the competition was a neck to neck race vs. old rival the Marlins. The last match of the season was to decide the Champion but we lost and ended second! We did participate for the first time in the Chen Yi Cup” organized by the SFA. We enjoyed it but lost our second match in the last minute of playing time. We will join again next year and we will do better.
Our Legends had one of their best years ever as they won the SPL V league a strong competition with 10 teams! They also won the Master Cup the over 40’s tournament organized by Super48 and the Santa cup for the first time. In both tournaments, the legends won all their matches and didn’t concede a single goal! The key to the success of the Legends is the commitment of the players to turn up for matches… As a matter of fact, they managed to have almost the same squad week in and week out and play in the same formation most of the time. Well done legends!
The Lions FC is and will always be a club where we rely on the help of our own players to run and manage the club. That’s the beauty of our club and we were very sad when we got to know that Azzeddine made the decision to move to Phuket. Azzeddine’s contribution to the club is hard to express in words but his passion for the sport and the understanding of the game is from a level we can only look up to and we appreciate so much as he showed us the way how to train how to play and how to win!
In the last two years, he has put all his love and energy in the youth teams and all teams improved! Of course, we always hope he will come back one day but for now, we do wish him all the best in the world for his new life in Phuket.
Going forward we are very pleased with Patrick taking over Azzeddine’s role at the youth and senior training. With the great physical sessions of Nick, we have a great team of coaches. Also, it’s nice to see Romain helping out with the senior team and new Lions U18 players making their debut with the senior teams and playing very well! Last but not least I like to thank FL who’s working on the background to keep our website and statistics alive and running! Life nowadays is all about content…. and with 3.5M clicks on our website, we must do something right!
We wish all the Lions and their families in Shanghai or abroad a very healthy, sportive & happy new year 2020! Let’s leave a couple of more footprints in Shanghai this new year! Trust me we are very lucky and fortunate to have this great group of people and players from all over the world keeping the name and reputation of the Shanghai Lions alive and kicking! Once you are back home to your country only then you realize how special it was to play in Shanghai with the Lions whether you are U16 or U18 or Senior or a Legend!
LET’S ALL ENJOY TO BE PART OF THE LIONS FAMILY AND MAKE 2020 ANOTHER GREAT SHANGHAI LIONS YEAR !!
CHEERS & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 AGAIN
Freek on behalf of all the Lions in the WORLD!