Senior draw against the Voodoo team in SIFL pre-season friendly

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voodoo teamIt 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.

Cheers,
Freek

U18 edge a win in a youth friendly game

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youth friendly gameOn 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.

 

Cheers,
Freek, Nick & Pat

Rainy conditions for the youth team in a friendly

rainy conditionsWhen 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

 

Cheers
Pat, Nick & Freek

First team drew against Cosmos in pre-season friendly

First TeamIt 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!

 

Cheers
Freek

Youth tied with Juventus 3-3 in the Summer Heat

summer heatOriginally, we had 17 players on the list for this friendly game against Juventus Academy Shanghai but we got last moment drop-outs while facing 34 degrees with no clouds summer heat… Well, we knew it would not going to be easy! Luckily we got Philipp willing to help out in goal giving us an extra-man on the bench.

It was clear that this summer heat will play a major role as many players were already looking at the sideline asking for substitution early in the game. Still, it was good to welcome Matty back in the squad who didn’t play for the last 6 months while being abroad. It was a dribble from Matty who ran himself into 3 defenders but still got a small touch to pass to Lewis who gave us the 1-0 lead. It was early in the game and within 5 minutes Juventus leveled the score 1-1.

Playing 4 spells of 20 minutes we started to get grip on the game in the second 20 with us having more possession and fighting hard to get the ball back when we lost it. Also, our confidence was getting stronger and stronger it resulted in a fine finish from Yuv after Juventus defense couldn’t clear the ball from a cross in!

In the third 20 we controlled the midfield and created more and more counter-attacks and after a couple, it was Matty scoring the 3-1 at a counter.

In the last 20 minutes, we tried to defend what we achieved as a team so far and all looked good but a free kick on the far left sailed over Philipp to bring Juventus back in the game. With 5 minutes to go, we thought we got a clear penalty when Matty was fouled in the box but the referee might have been too tired to blow the whistle in the very last minute while we have blocked all their through balls for 79 minutes one slipped through and the Juventus player was one on one with our keeper he scored and the final score 3-3 was a fact!

Given the severe conditions, we must give big compliments to all the players today as you all showed character, teamwork as well as team spirit. We were very happy today with our new players Justin Diego & Subaru-san… Well done to all the parents who came out to watch and gave support to our players!

We will let you know about the next event either a match or training next week. We will try to get an earlier morning or evening slot in order to avoid the summer heat.

 

Have a good rest and see you next week.

 

Cheers
Freek, Pat & Nick

Youth team enjoyed five-a-side football

five-a-sideIt was a beautiful day last Saturday clear skies but the temperature was a bit high close to 30 degrees. We came up with the idea to have a small mini five-a-side football at Qi Yi among ourselves! Total we had 4 teams with one team consisting of coaches & parents. Each match was 5 minutes and it was a joy to watch. There were a lot of fun moments and the speed of the matches was very high. Overall it was a great event and we plan to organize another round of five-a-side maybe against the Lions Senior players or Legends!

Cheers
Freek

Friendly game for our youth against YKFC

Friendly gameThis friendly game against YKFC was a little special as it had been several months since we last played 11 aside due to Covid-19!  However, we have been training for a couple of weeks so it was a nice test to see how do we stand compared to December where we were playing our best level this season.

In the first half, we were wondering why we played so slow and without conviction! Nobody said a word in the field and we couldn’t see a smile on the players’ faces. I guess it was a combination of the long break not playing on a full-size pitch combined with the very hot and humid weather… We took a 2-0 lead both goals from Jason back from the USA in our squad. YKFC managed a few times to get through the middle and had a few shots on goal but they were easy catches for Yu Xuan our stand in goalie!

We took our half time talk to get our team back on track and told the players foremost to enjoy the match and smile and have fun. It worked as the second half was a good display of teamwork and good combination! Jason quickly scored a third and Yuv showed us how easy it is to score with one move to set him free and he put the ball in the far corner in the net! YKFC did get a goal back but deserved also a compliment as they only had 11 players which is hard in the weather conditions and the gave us good opposition!

Overall we were happy with this friendly game… especially because we had a good mix of players with young and more experienced and there was good teamwork/spirit on the pitch. Step by step we will get our fitness and our field playback. We will look for more 11 aside match opportunities to play as that’s what we need now!

It was great to see so many parents come out and support the players! We appreciate that a lot! Of course, we’d like to tell our youth teammates abroad who are blocked overseas for now that we miss you guys a lot and hope that you soon can return to play with the Lions again!

 

See you all on Friday at the training!   

 

Cheers
Patrick, Nick, Freek & Azz

Youth are back to training

back to trainingWe were so happy to see most of our youth players back to training last Friday 🙂 Some parents even came out to support far away in Putuo!

We had a friendly match versus J-Academy and the pitch size was a bit strange as it was 9 vs 9 with 7 aside goals… However, the most important for us was the be able to be back on the field and smell the grass! We had 12 players with Mathew helping out as goalie as Koki is still in Japan and couldn’t come back. Kevin has a blister during the warming up so not a lot of options to change the team. We started well against Juventus and the game was tight for most of the time both sides had chances but missed the target no surprise after such a long time not being able to play! In the second half, we also played well but we could see the impact on our players of being at home and not being able to play for such a long time and Juventus seemed to be more fit and took advantage of that!

We will work on that in the coming weeks and will get the players back in shape and mentally good condition step by step as what is happening around the world, of course, has an impact on each and every one! As the Concordia field is not available and most schools are still closed we booked Qi Yi field for 8 weeks every Friday evening starting this Friday 1830-2030! Later when we see the development of the players we can add a second training day but we like to rebuild step by step! So we hope all our youth players will come to the training on Friday and we will help them to get back their fitness and positive mind!

We will look for friendly matches and if the schools would reopen we can also restart league matches! For the older youth, they can continue to train with the seniors and will be selected for senior matches! For the players who unfortunately could not make it back yet we hope you can all come back in the near future we are all waiting for you! For now, that’s Paris, Koki, Casey, Alvaro, Nikita.

Also, Yuma-san will not return because his parents moved back to Japan… Farewell, my friend! We will miss you very much! You are and will be an incredible player and remember “once a Lion always a Lion”! So good luck in Japan and anytime you are back in Shanghai you can play for the Lions!

See you all on Friday ! 18:30 at Qi Yi!

Cheers
Freek, Nick, Pat & Azz

Lions are back to business

back to businessIt was a beautiful day and we could play on a beautiful natural grass field with a great group of positive motivated youth, senior and legends Lions. We were all happy being back to business playing football as most countries are still in lockdown and stopped all the outdoor activities!

We played a friendly against Japan and we had 22 players signed up including three new players Pim from Holland, Haroun from France and Hiro-san from Japan. As Japan had a lot of players as well we opted for 4 x 30 minutes with Lions’ president taking the role of referee.

In the first 30 minutes, both Japan and the Lions played a bit conservative so the 0-0 scoreline was no surprise. In the second 30 minutes, Japan fielded a bit more older players whereas we had another mixed team with young and old. We managed to play well in the counter and got several opportunities. Philipp and Hiro-san scored to give the Lions a good 2-0 lead. In the next 30 minutes, Japan had his younger team out again and because we had a mixed team it caused us some problems to stop their fast and furious counters. Finally, they surprised our defense with a very quickly taken free-kick after a Jerome handball at the edge of the box. Right after, coach Pat made a change to take Jerome off and put FL in his place but they scored again. With their fast pace and quick movement, Japan managed to outplay us a couple of times and they took a 2-4 lead! After this we stepped up and controlled the game better and in the last 30 minutes our aim was to turn the game around and we tried hard and had multiple opportunities but credit to the Japanese goalkeeper he did a great job we managed to get one goal back but it was not enough even a bicycle kick from Fred Fuseau didn’t help in the end!

Great match and all players left with a happy feeling! So step by step we will get our fitness back but the most important is to support each other on-and-off the pitch. No matter you are young or old, any time we can play football we shall take it with pleasure and feeling blessed to enjoy the occasion!

It was a special day being back to business and hopefully, many more are to come! Big Hug to all the Lions and their families!

Cheers
Freek

Legends beat Shanghai Bulls in pre-season friendly match

shanghai bullsIt was a very hot Sunday 30 with degrees and no wind! We were facing the Shanghai Bulls, a new french veteran team in our pre-season opening match.

In the first 20 minutes, we played our best football with good pressure and fast combinations. We let the Bulls ran after the ball and tried to keep the possession. A great cross from Nico on the left found Bob at the far post and he headed the ball in the right corner to give us a 1-0 lead.

In the next 20 minutes, we dropped the speed and level partly due to the heat… The Bulls who didn’t have many shots on target yet equalized by a deflected strike!

In the third 20 minutes, we got our best chances to bring the match to bed… James came close with a flying header and Tomas went one on one with the keeper. It was Nico (in good form in this match) who gave the lead back to us with a fine strike.

In the last 20 minutes, there was plenty of space as players were getting tired running up and down the pitch. The icing on the cake was a great run by Imad who found Rick who finished calmly to make the final score 3-1 for the Legends against Shanghai Bulls.

 

The beers after the match tasted good. On the 22nd of September 2019, we will play our first league match of the season 2019/2020.

 

Cheers
Freek

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