It was a perfect day to play as it felt like spring just had arrived in Shanghai with the temperature reaching 17 degrees. It was a working Sunday ahead of the CNY holiday but it was great to see many parents come to watch and support our U18 team. Japan FC U18 team had more than two teams but the older ones got the priority to play first.
Our plan was to start fast and try to look for early goals. When Ryan tried his luck in the first minute with a long-range from the right it was too hard for Ryu’s father who helped the Japanese team as a goalie. Maybe the goal came a bit too early as after that we didn’t play well as there was no connection between the defender and the midfielders and no connection between our midfielders and our forwards. In between the lines, there was so much open space as the defense was sitting too deep and our forwards stayed up too high. We got punished for that by Japan FC U18 who with their quick feet and passing had no problem scoring two goals in 7 minutes taking advantage of the free space we gave them. Guess that was the wake-up call we needed and we started to play better on an attack over the left the ball was not cleared in the Japanese box and Ryan didn’t hesitate to equalize for us. In the last minutes of the first half, we started to play very well and took a 3-2 lead by a tip-in from JP.
The second half was much better from our side with our defenders and midfielder and attackers playing like one unit and it was much harder for Japan to get the ball in their possession. We enjoyed our passing game and everybody kept their tasks within the team. We came very close on several occasions to score one ball was saved by Ryu from the line after his father was already passed. It was Philipp who scored a nice goal placing the ball in the far left corner to make it 4-2 for us. Jason played a few minutes in the end. By the way, it was his last match for the moment as he will go back to the USA to finish high school… We will miss him of course and wish him all the best. Japan scored a nice goal at the end with a long-range well placed shot over Sean our new goalie.
Overall it was a good match for both teams and we like to thank Michael the father of Alexander who did a great job as a referee. This coming Thursday we will have no training due to CNY however we will train on February 18th, 2021. On February 21st at 13:00, we will participate in a mini-tournament with the older youth players and a few senior players against 4 Japanese senior teams at Waigaoqiao.
Well done Lions
Freek, Nick & Pat
Last 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
Last 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.
A good start and well-done Lions!
Last Sunday, our youth team was up against Juventus Academy Shanghai for a friendly game. And it was the kind of response we were expecting from the team after the last poor Thursday training. Our prematch speech was very simple “Stop always arguing and let your feet do the talking!”
Against Juventus, it is always a difficult game as they do have a couple of skillful players. However, in the first 30 minutes, we probably played our best football this year.
- A solid backline who played simple and took care of the Juventus forwards.
- Our midfield running the show with fast combinations and a lot of movement
- Our fast forwards Kyle & Jason being a constant threat to Juventus’ defense line
The good thing is that older players took their responsibilities. They lead the team but also helped younger players to catch up. As a result, we managed to outplay the defense of Juventus Academy Shanghai many times resulting in a 4-0 lead.
Football is a mind game and when you get older and get more experience you will be more prepared to deal with it. We surely got opportunities to make it 5-0 or 6-0 but we drop a bit our focus and missed those chances… On the other side, we conceded two goals by our own mistakes and we gave them a lifeline to come back in the match.
At halftime, we told our players to be careful and to defend our lead as if Juventus would score another one it will change the game completely as we would feel down and their spirit would be up. So It is exactly what happened within only 5 minutes in the second half… As they got their early goal, it was only uphill and we kind of collapsed for a while.
After being 5-4 down, we did get our composure back, created good chances, and almost leveled the match. As for highlights, a great strike from Daniel and a super run and cross-in combo from JP should have turned into goals.
Let’s all come to training on Thursday and we make it one of the best sessions of the season.
Patrick, Nick & Freek
What beautiful weather yesterday and setting for our youth-friendly match last Saturday. It is always nice to be able to play on real grass… It was great to see the majority of the senior team come to support our youth academy players. While they themselves suffered a heavy loss in the SIFL a few minutes before, it would have been easy for them going back home… Instead many of them stayed back and gave advice to the youngest. That’s the spirit of a real football club!
As it was a 7 aside match. As always our focus was to build-up from the back, going through the midfield with fast and simple passes and using the wings to get through YKFC’s defense with one or two players in the box to finish it off. We had good spells but also sometimes we took it too easy in defending. YKFC was better on the day in finishing the opportunities we did have most of the ball possession but found it hard to be dangerous in the box. The final result was 4-2 for YKFC in the end and we can learn from our mistakes to play better next time.
After the match, the seniors challenged the academy in a penalty shoot-out and the youth lost it 6-5. It was a close encounter but also nice to see the interaction between youth and senior players… This is the true spirit we want to give within Shanghai Lions Football Club. Also, remember it’s only a matter of time before the youth to win against the seniors 😉
As Nick mentioned we did a hard F45 session Sunday before and we think these sessions are very good to build core and mental strength. The players who attended did a great job and worked very hard. Well done Lions!
We go back to the training on Thursday and working on friendlies vs DEQ (Friday evening) and Juventus 11 aside (Sunday afternoon on November 15th, 2020)
Good work Lions
Freek, Pat & Nick
There were many positive outcomes for the legends today after a friendly game vs. Shanghai Bulls.
- Bob taking on the coaching job while not being able to play himself due to his injury was a great example of commitment to the team.
- Nicolas delivering the new kit and the bags, except for Matze 3 XLXLXL which was still tight on him all players were looking sharp in the new outfit.
- Nicolas Serrano despite twisting his ankle coming to watch and support us.
- Jerome while a bit injured happy to play stand-in goalie and had a great save (yes one).
- It was great having Haroun and Adrien back after they managed to re-enter China.
- Tomas “on fire” who probably played his best game for the Lions.
- Skiv scoring a lob which starts to become his trademark goal.
- 100% Japan-made goal with Hiro-san crossing for Masa-san header.
- Matze making a 200-meter sprint upfront running after a pass from the President.
Jokes apart let’s keep this spirit UP where each player tries to contribute to the team whenever he enters the field or contributes to the club on or off the pitch by organizing events and or training or helping out club management. Our first test is next week 09:00 against a much improved Japanese team. It starts by being on time and ready to play and from the first whistle.
See you all on Sunday.
It was our 2nd friendly match to prepare our return into the Shanghai International Football League (SIFL) after a few seasons break! While the weather was slightly better than a few weeks ago, we had a thin and very young squad against the Voodoo team. For that game, our opponent was much larger and mature in-depth… To be mentioned as well that the Voodoo team has become one of the top tier SIFL contenders since our last game back in 2017.
Within the first 5 minutes, we created two great goal scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, we missed the chances… as it goes in football if you don’t score the opponent will and that’s what Voodoo did when we conceded a clear penalty tripping one of their player for their 1st occasion. At the first break (3 x 30mn), the talk was not pretty as we were playing too soft against this strong and physical kind of opponent.
In the second 30 minutes, we played much better at taking possession, making 3-4 passes combinations in a row which resulted in a few scoring opportunities… Of course, they were dangerous on the counters and our keeper Juliano kept us in the game.
In the last 30 minutes, we knew it will be hard for us as we only had 1.5 valid sub standing but we didn’t give up the fight… On a great counter, Dan our striker who knew that the Voodoo team goalie was out of his goal most of the match took his chance and scored a perfect equalizer.
To be fair, we would have probably deserved to lose this game as Voodoo pushed hard in the last few minutes hitting the post twice… Anyway, it stayed 1-1 before the penalty session that was decided before the game. we scored them all with Philipp, Freek, Julia, Tyron & Juliano while Juliano stopped one of theirs.
We were happy afterward as we got a lot of positives from this game especially with so many youngsters into the team and many seniors missing… Let’s train hard and get more commitment to this new season.
On this day of early September our youth team was up against YKFC; a good local team that likes to play on fast counters. For this youth friendly game, Both teams agreed to play 3 x 30 minutes.
In the first 30 minutes against the wind, we tried to build up with passing combo’s but we didn’t find each other quick enough… Also, we were not concentrating enough on the back which caused some problems. However, we did take the lead with a great far shot from Julia flying over the keeper.
In the second 30 minutes with the win in our back, we got it right and give a lot of pressure to YKFC who struggled to come out of their half. We got plenty of opportunities to extend the lead with a close shot from Ryan and Jason hitting the post. Yu Xuan our goalie had two great saves to keep our clean sheet. With one minute to go, YKFC didn’t play their goal kick well and we took the advantage with an easy goal from Jason.
In the last 30 minutes, our aim was to keep the clean sheet and score another goal. YKFC was pushing more and more to get back into the game and credit to them they didn’t give up. They got their reward with a long-range shot helped by the wind to go over our goalie. David got unlucky when he hit the ground with his head and we took our time to get him back on his feet and luckily he was OK after that. With a few minutes left Jason got a free-kick against him and reacted to his opponent in a bad manner which was totally unacceptable and we were left with no choice to take him off.
After the final whistle, all was good and we took a team picture together. Of course, we have a lot of things to improve and that’s why youth friendly game are meant for. Training is also very important and we have one coming right away this Thursday.
Freek, Nick & Pat
When we were on the way to the field we feared for the worst as it was pouring with rain hard but luckily the rainy conditions stopped just before the game. Well, sometimes, it’s good to play under such rainy conditions as it shows the true fighting spirit of a team. On the topic of fighting spirit, I’d like to bring here to our youngest the story of a rainy game we had back in 2014… As a matter of fact, probably one of the most memorable games in Shanghai Lions FC’s long history.
Coming back to our youth game, we were playing a friendly against a young team who’s not used to play 11 aside. In the first 30 minutes instead of giving them a lesson, we were playing really bad ourselves… Most of our players were still asleep and yes the field was hard to play on but there was no reason to play so flat and slow.
The half time talk was not nice but needed to put the team back on track. It’s important to learn to always show respect to opponents even when they are younger and are weaker.
In the second half, we finally woke up and started to play football with good combinations and nice goals. We were happy with our new players and overall its good to have a workout pre-season. Obviously we need to work harder especially on our finishing as we got over 25 scoring opportunities and only score 9.
Thank you to the parents who came and watch… We appreciate that and we will work harder to improve ourselves! See you all on Thursday
Pat, Nick & Freek
It was our first step into the new season 2020/2021 with a big change as our First Team we will re-join the SIFL league this season. As a pre-season friendly, we chose to play against Cosmos FC who ended 5th in the league last season! Our objective for this season is to give an opportunity to our youth players to play in senior matches to gain experience and be prepared for their next step into their football life! We had 7 youth players with a squad of 15 players and due to the heat over 34 degrees, we played 3 x 30 minutes!
In the first 30 minutes, Cosmos decided to sit back deep and had no ambition to open up… so it was a chess game where every move was controlled. Few seconds before the break, we made a foul but didn’t pay attention… Cosmos played it quickly into the box from and they took the lead 0-1… In senior games, it is important to be focused until the very last minute… let’s say it’s part of the learning process.
In the second 30 minutes, we came back to draw as Patrick came forward to launch a good strike outside the box when their keeper came out too far.
In the third 30 minutes, it was a long ball from Kevin which most people thought was “mamahuhu” but the Cosmos defender missed it & Dan (our new striker) didn’t hesitate to put behind the net. 2-1 for the Lions but unfortunately, we let Cosmos came back to tie after we failed to clear the ball in defense.
In the end, both teams were happy with the draw. For the Lions, it was a positive performance given we had no goalie and so many youngsters in the team. Back to training! See you all on Monday!