Parents came to watch youth players

youth playersLast Sunday, our youth team was able to play an 11-aside match against DEQ on the grass field in Waigaoqiao. It was also nice to see parents from both teams coming out there to support our youth players. Special mention to M. Jobst who was supporting DEQ this time 😉 We had 13 youth players and it was good to see Alexander back in the squad after a long injury; Kevin to help out as goalie; David and Yang Yang making their debut in the team.

We started well and were playing fast with a lot of pressing and after 10 minutes we scored 1-0 by Ryan on a fast break. It looked like we would score a few more goals quickly but we dropped our level after the goal and instead of the one-stop solution we kept the ball too long and slowed down our own game not realizing it. DEQ defended our attacks with more ease. The game became boring with not many chances on both sides.

At the halftime break, we needed to set the record straight, and after checking with our players what they thought about the team performance we told them it was not good enough and asked all players to step up their game and give more. It worked as in the first 15 minutes of the second half we played very well and all players were more involved and our passing game was much faster and better. We got opportunities but just missed a bit of luck in the final finish but the build-ups were great. DEQ did get an equalizer with a low shot in the left corner but we kept looking for the winner afterward. We thought Ryan would score the winner after a great build-up and cross which he handled perfectly with his first touch but his strike went just wide.

Overall a good performance and these kinds of games are all about learning and getting more experience. We will look for another 11 aside match as soon as possible and look forward to seeing everyone at the training on Thursday.

Well done Lions
Freek, Patrick & Nick

Legends get smashed by Emeralds

LegendsLast Sunday, our legends were up against the Emerald, the current No. 1 in the Veteran league. We knew it would be a hard game as earlier last week our goalie Clement injured his ankle and was out for the game. Luckily Tomas found a friend pilot willing to help out despite the fact that he never been a goalie before.

In the first 20 minutes, we played one of the best football of the season dominating possession with fluent passing games and we didn’t let the Emerald make more than two passes in a row.

However, in the second 20 minutes, we got bad luck on a corner as the 2nd ball felt dead straight into the feet of an Emerald player who scored easily on a close range. Soon after Emerald’s Fafa, managed to slice through our backline to make it 2-0.

In the third 20 minutes, we had no answer anymore to the fast pace and speed of the Emerald players and two of our players ended up with hamstring injuries.

Frustrating afternoon for the Legends with 7-0 as the final score 🙁

Next up is Strosso the last match before the Chinese New Year holiday. Let’s hope next weekend all will be fine again.

[ SPL V ] Emerald 7-0 Shanghai Lions FC

Cheers
Freek

Voodoo converted senior team to their religion

voodooLast Saturday, our senior team was up against Voodoo. This team is actually ranking No. 2 in the SIFL league. A strong and fit squad which have been playing together for many years. As we are playing with many of our youth players we knew it wouldn’t be an easy match. Once more, our biggest problem was we were still lacking didn’t have a goalkeeper… Our youngster Philipp (once again) offered to play goalie for that game.

We started the game well playing composed as a team and not giving away anything. We also got a few occasions that we managed to get through the Voodoo’s defenders but were missing the final shot or pass. It looked like we could go into halftime with a 0-0 scoreline but disaster struck when out of nothing but just a goal kick we kick the ball against a Voodoo player and it ended in our goal.

At halftime, we tried to stay positive and thought if we can get a goal back it should change the game. It went well for 10 minutes but we gifted them the 0-2 after our goalie didn’t clear the ball at first and lost it afterward… The goalie syndrome which is haunting us this season proved to be too much and we saw all our hard work disappear and the last 30 minutes became frustrating and in the end, we left the field with a 0-4 loss. Next up are the Kickers and hopefully, we will have a goalie to help us out.

[ SIFL ] Voodoo 4-0 Shanghai Lions FC

Cheers
Freek

Legends do the job vs. England

EnglandOn Sunday the legends were up against a physical England squad. Our intention was to play our passing game and be patient for the opportunities to score and to stay focused at the back.

We played well the first 20 minutes dictating the match with a lot of possession. However, England was defending with its whole team… So not many chances were created from our side.

In the second 20 minutes, England pressed more forward and we played more long balls which didn’t help us much. It was a corner from Haroun which let FL almost score with a header but his effort went just over the bar.

In the third 20 minutes, we got several dangerous corners and shots but failed to score. It seemed to be our “bad day in the office” until Julia found Adrien on the run and he was brought down in the box. Penalty for the Legends and Haroun stepped up to end our misery… To our horror, we saw his effort being stopped by the goalie but luckily he was alert to score after the England goalie dropped the ball.

In the last 20 minutes, it was all about keeping the clean sheet and take the three points and that’s what we did.

[ SPL V ] Shanghai Lions FC 1-0 England

It was a great team performance where every player did his part to help the team. We were happy to have Mamdouh and Max back on the field after very long-lasting injuries. 

Next up will be Emerald who’s currently on top of the SPL Veteran league chart (see below). Being a minimum realistic, it’s going to be a tough game as both Japan & Emerald teams currently have probably more depth, youth, fitness, and talent than us. Anyway, we will try our best trying to get the best possible result as always.

SPL Veteran League Ranking (17Jan2021)

Cheers
Freek

First team beat J-Academy in friendly

J-AcademyLast Saturday, it was cold with a strong wind coming from the North. Our first team had a friendly against U19 J-Academy which was good preparation for our upcoming match against Voodoo next weekend. Our goalkeeper woes seem never-ending this season with Juliano still injured and Marcel still in Germany. Therefore, we had Philipp to “goalie” volunteer for this game.

J-Academy started strong and were much more aggressive in the first 10 minutes. On the 1st corner, they took the 0-1 lead with the ball slipping into our goalie’s hand. After 15 minutes, Patrick got in to help organize the defense… It proved to work and our team got better organized and slowly play better and better. Finally, it was Dan who equalized for us just before half time.

With a strong wind in our back in the second half, we were confident to win the game. J-Academy found it harder to come out while on the other end, it was easier for us to put pressure on them. As a result, Tomas put us in the lead. While we let Yuxuan make his debut as a right-back, Masa-san went up as our striker. Good coaching as it is him who scored the 3-1. Despite several other scoring opportunities, it stayed like that. It was a good second half after a poor start of the match.

[ SIFL ] Shanghai Lions FC 3-1 J-Academy

A good start and well-done Lions!

Cheers
Freek

Lions exit Hebiguchi Cup

HebiguchiLast Saturday, our first team was up against Shanghai Azzurri for the first-round of the Hebiguchi Cup. While it’s was super-cold, we also struggled to get enough players for this match. On the goalkeeper side, we had both Juliano and Marcel forfeit for the game. Luckily, Ousmane was willing to be our goalie but obviously, we missed him a lot as our number 6 in front of the defense.

Despite our line-up being very young, we started well closing down the Azzurri team. Upfront, our forwards Moussa and Daniel worked hard trying to keep the ball in our possession. For 30 minutes the game was even and we hoped could go into halftime with a 0-0 score-line. Unfortunately, we gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box which Azzurri converted on a second ball. Five minutes later, we shot in our own foot again by giving them a penalty which they scored. For a while, we lost the match and heads were down. Against a top-team, you get punished for every mistake you make… This is the lesson.

After half time, we were looking for a goal to bring us back into the game. We thought we got it when Moussa got brought down at the edge Azzurri box… It clearly looked like a penalty but the referee only gave a free-kick which we didn’t convert. With only 13 players against 18 very fit Azzurri players, the final part of the match became hard for the Lions. In the end, we lost 3-0 exiting us from this year’s Hebiguchi Cup. Despite the defeat, we were overall happy with the team’s fighting spirit and positive attitude.

[ SIFL H CUP ] Azzurri FC 3-0 Shanghai Lions FC

Next up we will play against Juventus and expect more players to be available. Let’s work hard at the training on Tuesday and go for a win next Saturday.

Cheers
Freek

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