Lions out of the SIFL Cup

SIFL CupWith a couple of players injured, our senior team had a thin squad last Saturday for a SIFL Cup game. We were playing against the Krauts a German team with a lot of length and strength in their team. As we have started poor in a couple of games we wanted to change it by not giving away free-kicks or corners but also keeping the ball longer into possession. The pace was slow from both teams and it seemed to go well for us however after a corner for the Krauts in the 20th minute we saved their header but after that we let them cross in again and we couldn’t stop their effort and let them score. We did create a couple of opportunities with FL & Tiger coming closest to scoring however we gifted them their second goal when a Kraut’s player clearly offside unspotted by the linesman as he fell asleep in the afternoon sun ran into our outcoming goalie. It was a penalty for them and we were 2-0 behind at the half time.

Enough was enough we were fighting for a comeback with a superb combination in the midfield we set Samba free and he hit the post with a great strike that was a warning to the Krauts. We did get a free kick in a good spot right in the middle of the goal but Pat’s Skill or his Wifi was not on as the ball went into orbit and has never seen back. We did get our reward by a foul in the box and Tiger kept his cool and scored the penalty. With 5 minutes to go, we all thought Pat would score the equalizer when he suddenly found him free right in front of the keeper but his effort went wide instead of in the goal.

[ SIFL CUP ] Shanghai Lions FC 1-2 Shanghai Krauts

It was a frustrating afternoon as we’re already out of the SIFL Cup… In the end, the Krauts didn’t create anything during the 90 minutes but got away with the win. Next Saturday, we play them again for the league and we are all motivated to put everything right. Let’s Go Lions!

Cheers
Freek

Senior team lost in SIFL in just 20 minutes

20 minutesIt was a beautiful day and the pitch was perfect as well. All set to have a great game of football. We had a good mix of older and younger players for this SIFL league game. Unfortunately, Juliano, our goalie, was not available due to work commitments. For this game, we were up against Reunited U18 who is a strong team with talented players with a lot of speed and power.  Of course, we had a plan and a strategy but all went upside down when we conceded a goal in the 1st few minutes… 5 minutes later we lost George our regular left-back out with a hamstring injury. 20 minutes later, it got worse when Masa-san found himself in a one on one with the Reunited forward… Usually, Masa-san would win those by using his speed but this time he got overrun and found ourselves down two goals. This was a problem for us as we now had to push more forward and were more exposed to their speedy attackers at the back. We showed character and tried to get back in the game and we had two very good occasions to score… one was a superb build from the back and midfield with the final station at Romain who hit the ball well and saw his effort hit the post. The second one was by a fast counter from our side this time Romain one on one in the box only had to give the ball to Kyle on the left so he could score but he made a move right and the chance was gone. They scored 3-0 but right before half time, Tyron scored a great goal with a strike from distance.

Yes, the heads were down at the half time but we took the opportunity to get them back up as if we would score one more we could unnerve them and come back like last week against Cosmos. Unfortunately within 5 minutes in the second half, we gifted them another goal again by losing the ball in midfield and let them run free at Fillipo. Actually, that was the final blow for us… Yes, we did score another goal after a great cross from Masa-san well finished by Tomas to make it 2-4. However, the uphill battle was too much in the last 20 minutes with three players in the back and they scored another 2. Final score 2-6 against the Lions.

Next up will be training on Tuesday and Krauts next Saturday at 13:00 kick-off.

Cheers
Freek

Great comeback to clinch a draw vs. Cosmos

comebackIt was our second 09:00 am game and because of the early kick-off, we missed a few key players… For this senior team game, we were up against Cosmos who we played in a pre-season friendly earlier last summer.

[ SIFL ] Cosmos 2-2 Shanghai Lions FC

They were well prepared and got us off guard in the early stages of the match… As a matter of fact, we were not sharp enough at the start and lost too many balls in the build-up. Luck was on their side when a soft free-kick was given on the left close to the middle line and their cross in was flying with the help of the wind past all the players and in the end past our goalie as well… It was a wake-up call for us and we got better at creating a bit more chances when 10 minutes before half time the referee pointed to the penalty spot after he saw a handball of one of the Cosmos players in the box. While Pat was already moving forward confident in our comeback; the referee went to his linesman who was surrounded by Cosmos players, and finally decided to change his decision to our big surprise! What a terrible mistake by this poor referee to overturn the penalty decision… Goal kick for Cosmos instead.

At half time we were talking about justice and make sure to get back into the game but within 15 minutes we didn’t react well to a great Juliano save and they scored the 2-0… For the Cosmos, it was game over! It’s true that we didn’t create a lot in the next 15 minutes but when got a free-kick at the edge of the box everything changed. Both Pat and Juliano were ready to take it but it was Pat who scored with a stunning free-kick in the top left corner. After this, the Lions were on fire and were looking for the equalizer. Masa-san came very close from the left but the goalie stopped his effort however it was Romain great placed ball in the left corner that gave us the well-deserved draw… Justice was made! and in the last minute, we almost clinched the win on a fast counter with a super volley of Masa-san but again the Cosmos goalie saved it.

Overall we were happy with the comeback and we will pay more attention to start stronger in our next game. Well done Lions!

 

Cheers
Freek

First team beat Shanghai Marlins

MarlinsIt was a great day to play this senior football game under 22 degrees, a clear sky, and a good pitch. It was our first match in our new kit and we had a lot of motivated players showing up 1 hour before the match. After the team picture and warming up we were ready to go against our old rival the Marlins. It was good to see both teams had plenty of youngsters trying out to play at the senior level.

[ SIFL ] Shanghai Lions FC 4-0 Shanghai Marlins FC

Well usually we are slow starters but not this time from the kick-off we showed aggression and hunger for the ball and within one minute we had a perfect fast break on the right with a good cross from Kyle well finished by Romain… 1-0 for the Lions.

After this, the game started to evolve and the speed of play was very fast the referee was lost couldn’t coop with the speed, and made poor decisions for both teams. Marlins tried to launch their fast young forwards with long balls helped by the wind in the back and it caused us some problems we gave away several corners which we dangerous and a few free-kicks as well. We rushed too much ourselves and forget our passing game and we were looking for long balls as well. However, we were helped by the Marlins when a cross from the right was headed into their own goal 2-0 Lions. It gave us a good cushion at half time and we could bring in fresh legs in the second half.

With the wind in our back, we were looking for the third goal to finish the game. We got a free-kick at the perfect spot right on the box edge in the middle several players stood up to claim the free-kick but it was Patrick who took control and placed the ball low in the right corner to make it 3-0. The icing on the cake came from Cyril who just came back from injury and shot from far out as he saw the keeper off his line and smashed the ball over the keeper in the net! Perfect 4-0 for the Lions. We got plenty of opportunities to score a few more but failed to finish them so it stayed 4-0. Credit to the Marlins with a young squad to keep playing and trying to get back in the game.

Well done Lions! Next up is training on Tuesday and Cosmos on Saturday 09:00 kick-off.

Cheers
Freek

Senior team win for its SIFL return

SIFL returnFor our SIFL return 1st game, our senior team had an early 09:00 kick-off but luckily all players were on time and we had plenty of time for the warm-up. We had a nice mix of young and older players and Juliano in the goal. Right at the kick-off, we noticed that Jason was missing and he was supposed to start on the wing and we were a bit worried but in the end, he went to the toilet for a small emergency. Kevin B., fresh from the deck, took his place.

[ SIFL ] Anzacs 1-3 Shanghai Lions FC

We started well with a lot of aggression and hunger however after 5 minutes we got another blow as Tyron got a knee placed in his upper leg and it was game over for him… Julia took his position. After 10 minutes we lost our play and started to make mistakes in build-up passes as well we gave several corners away but luckily Juliano stood firm in his box. After a slip up in our defense, we gave them a pass to score and they took the 1-0 lead. We tried to get back in the game but didn’t create much so we used the half time talk to put all right for the next 45 minutes to turn around the game.

It worked as we upped the tempo and we very dangerous from the flanks with the upcoming Masa and George. Jason back in the squad did well using his speed and strength and was fouled in the box. Patrick stood up and shot left to make the equalizer it was a boost for the team and we sensed we could take them on now. It was a superb goal from our side with a very good ball from defender Kevin in the feet of George on the left who fulls speed passed the ball into the upcoming Dan who nicked it in perfectly. 2-1 and we were hungry for more and it was Masa-san running on the right all the way and his cross in was tipped in by Hiro-san who was alert when the Anzacs didn’t defend well. We could and should have scored more and been lucky when they hit the crossbar with a header at the end. Unfortunately, we lost Dan in the end who tripped on the field with no player near him and damaged his ankle. We wish him well and a speedy recovery.

It was a good team performance in the second half that give us the 1-3 win for our SIFL return. Well done to all the substitutes who came in well and helped us clinch the victory. Well done to all the youth players especially George and Yu Xuan who played like a grown-up man. Training on Tuesday and the October break holiday ahead of us but we will continue to train over the holiday to be ready for the Marlins game on October 17 at 15:00.

Well done Lions!

Cheers
Freek

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

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

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

U18 enjoyed SIFL end of season tournament

SIFL end of season tournamentAfter last Friday rain which caused us to stop the youth training, we were participating in the SIFL end of season tournament with our oldest youth helped by DJ SKiv, his brother Cyril & Pat. The weather was soso as it was 100% humidity with 35 degrees!

For our first match, we played Voodoo Child and it took us 10 minutes to wake up and understand that everything is faster at the senior level. In the last 5 minutes of the match, we started to play our game with confidence and scored two great goals. This 2-0 win in our first game boosted our confidence 🙂

Next up was Japan famous for their fitness level and fast play!  We had enough with a draw to become top of the group and defended well as against Japan it was more difficult to create chances for ourselves. At the last minute, we got a free-kick and the plan didn’t work and we lost the ball and Japan countered super fast… Somehow the Japanese player sliced through our three defenders and scored!

Our next game was against the Krauts; a good team with a couple of good technical players. We played well and gave them good opposition and we created a couple of chances after good build-up play from the back! Both Julia and Blisset had a good chance to score and almost did it but the score remained 0-0!

Our last match was against Long Tang but they hardly had a team and borrowed some Japanese players we had more than plenty of opportunities to score and of course should have won this match as it stayed 0-0!

 

Overall, it was good coming back to play in the SIFL after a few years break. Thanks for the organization letting us play in this SIFL end of season tournament. Good experience for our youth to get stronger, smarter in play like being a killer when we have the chance to score! Well done Lions today! We left a good impression on other SIFL senior teams and some already asked us to play a friendly match soon!

 

Enjoy your Sunday
Freek, Pat, Nick & Azz

[SIFL News] Round 26 – Games played on 13 May 2017

Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC clinch Premier League Championship.

 

Shanghai Cosmos wins First Division Championship.

 

Shanghai Vikings FC promoted to Premier League.

 


Premier League

First Division

  • Shanghai Cosmos 2-1 Shanghai Vikings FC
  • Kangbei United FC 2-2 Long Tang AFC
  • Voodoo Child 1-2 Voodoo

Premier League

Azzurri FC faced the Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC. A win would crown the Shooters SIFL Champions so they left nothing to chance. 

In their way was an Azzurri side who thought they could spoil the celebrations and a ReU side acting as Italian cheerleaders for the day. As usual a proper game ensued; lots of tackles, lots of energy and great football too. 

Deeming himself unsafe to be close to anyone the grand dictator Zippy (#19) banished himself to the opposite touchline from everyone else to bark his instructions/insults in isolation. Wilson Scott hobbled off and Loic Chudy soon after him as they both sacrificed their legs for the Shooter cause in a frantic half. 

Eventually the deadlock broke around the 30-minute mark. Gui ‘game changer’ Leclercq lived up to his self-given title and channeling his inner Zlatan met a Mike McGirr corner with an acrobatic volley into the far corner. The half ended 0-1 to the Shooters.

In the second half, the Shooters went out knowing they were now really close. The belief showed as they took control of the game and started a full-scale assault on the Azzurri box. Eventually the pressure told and as is becoming now usual a penalty was given for handball in the box. 

Kevin Wiessler stepped up, but although blasting it well it was too close to keeper Alex Zhao, who palmed it out with a strong hand. The Azzurri got some belief back and ReU got the pom poms out. 

Wiessler picked himself up though and soon after found himself one on one, having been slipped through by Stefan Sturm. This time he made no mistake and slotted home to double the Shooters lead to 0-2. The Shooters looked in firm control now and it seemed like it was all over. 

However the men in blue didn’t give up and the Shooters love doing things the hard way. First a clearance on the left was smashed straight into a teammate and into the path of Guillermo Santamaria, who put it into the corner of the net for 1-2.

A fifth penalty in two games was then given (again handball in the box) and can be crowned the worst decision of the five, but Javier Turull (#21) made no mistake evening out the score at 2-2

Shooters now could have sh*t themselves and caved, but they showed the belief they have had all season and instead went all out to win the game. Two minutes from time pops up Benoit Doche (middle below) who smashed the ball into the net on what he called “an impossible angle” for 2-3. 

The Shooters went mental, the Italians were defeated and Shooters were Champions! Mayhem ensued; the Shooter bus will never be the same again and the Big Bamboo is lucky to still be one piece. With his championship goal, Benoit Doche picked up man of the match honors. 

After five long years the Shooters are back on top. A big compliment to ReUnited for running the Shooters close and the Azzurri for a great game. CAMPEONES, CAMPEONES, OLE, OLE, OLE! Well done boys, congratulations great team effort. 


Shanghai ReUnited were pitted against the Shanghai Krauts FC. ReUnited went into the game knowing only a win would do to put some pressure on to the Shooters before their game with Azzurri. 

ReUnited were comfortable throughout the ninety minutes and the pressure they put onto a shaky Krauts defense led to a complete collapse for them as ReU entered the break 5-0 up. 

ReU’s debutant Denis Arych opened the scoring with a spectacular volley from twenty-five yards and from then on it was a bit of a procession. 

A Mandela first half hattrick, a fine goal from Adam Kling and another long-range strike from Arych in the second half completed the scoring for a 6-0 ReUnited win. 

Mandela picked up man of the match honors. Afterwards ReU settled down to watch the Azzurri and Shooters game and although the Italian team fought valiantly, it was not to be for ReU as the title race was lost to the Shooters.


Shanghai Japan FC crossed swords with the Shanghai Lions FC. Japan were determined to get a result against the champions of previous season. 

Japan’s fast combination play confused the Lions a great deal while the Lions were unable to find any holes in the tight Japan defense. 

Japan’s dominance resulted in the only goal of the first half sending Japan up 1-0 after 45mins of football.

In the second half, the Lions tried to do something back but Japan simply outpaced them and continued to find the net. 

The Lions did get a consolation goal by David Hunter but Japan scored three more for a final 4-1 Japan win. 

Tomoyuki Hirai (2) and Hiroki Kato (2) scored the goals (below with David Hunter). Yasutomo Toyofuku picked up man of the match honors. 


Shanghai 3United clashed with a revamped FC Oranje squad at the early time slot. Oranje was coming off a smashing of Japan two weeks earlier, while 3United had also beaten Japan in the SIFL Cup semi-finals the weekend before. 

Oranje was fired up after their first win of the season and 3United was hoping to further their win streak despite missing a few starting players. During the first half, it was Oranje who had the upper hand and within 10mns created several bankable chances. 

Their offense was continually exploiting holes in the 3U defense and midfield throughout the half and resulted in the first goal of the game at around the 15-minute mark. 

After a 3U free kick, the ball ended up at Berto Mose in the Oranje half. He quickly overran the midfield then launched Manual Troconis over the right flank. Troconis made the backline and crossed the ball in the box to Mose who half volleyed it in at the far post taking a 0-1 Oranje lead. 

3United reacted well and 5mins later saw Joe Williams earn a penalty which Nick Law clinically saw into the left corner of the goal evening out the score at 1-1. Soon after Oranje also earned a penalty but keeper Jonny Sumner spectacularly saved their effort and even it stayed. 

Oranje kept up the pressure and from a fluent attack Mubanga Vwalika played the ball to Tank Zhang (below) who set himself up for a one on one and slotted home with a low drive retaking the lead for Oranje at 1-2 and that’s how an entertaining first 45mins of football ended. 

In the second half, 3United finally found some structure and teamwork and became the dominant force of the two teams. But despite having most of the possession and momentum, they struggled to create anything dangerous in front of goal. 

Oranje was still pushing to solidify their lead and were awarded another penalty after a handball in the box. Keeper Sumner saved Oranje’s second effort as well at 1-2 it stayed. 

It gave 3United momentum for a final push into the tight orange box. Oranje started defending with all they had subbing along the way playing the clock. 

In the 88th minute 3U’s determination finally yielded. A ball won in the Oranje defense made it’s way to the midfield and reached Nick Law at the edge of the box. Law didn’t hesitate, turned the ball with his first touch and rocketed a shot into the top right corner to even the score line at 2-2. 

Despite a frantic few seconds the game ended in a 2-2 tie. Oranje’s Tank Zhang (above with Berto Mose, Nick Law & Tom Bus) and 3U’s keeper Jonny Sumner picked up man of the match honors. 

Oranje took to Cages to celebrate match #588, 4 points and 6 goals in the last 2 fixtures to end the season on a positive note. The boys won the Third-Half@Cages as well. Oranjeboom was there!


First Division

Shanghai Cosmos were scheduled to play the Shanghai Vikings FC. A win or tie would seal the Championship for Cosmos. However, they were very anxious about the possibility of a 27-goal swing, which would hand the title to Vikings. 

A nervy start by a new look Cosmos back four, including One Direction’s Harry Handley, who Jasper had proudly proclaimed he ‘groomed’ all season. Interpret that how you please!

On 28 minutes, the breakthrough came. Ant Spark opened the scoring with a cracking right footed drive from a Conor Maye cross for 1-0, giving him a story tell his grandchildren when he sees them in the summer.

Just before halftime, Adam Stringer made it 2-0 when a great Jordan Campbell flick found Maye who crossed for Stringer to finish at the second attempt. Leaving him just a few goals short of topping the Cosmos scoring chart, currently held by his biggest fan Jordan Campbell. 

In the second half, the Vikings were more determined than ever to swing the goal difference in their favor and had the better of the exchanges. 

They had to wait until the final ten minutes when they were awarded a penalty to make it 2-1 via a Stefan Soegaard spot kick conversion. A nervous end was played out and the game ended 2-1. Man of the match honors went to Harry Handley

Knowing Cosmos had secured the title, stand in coach Conor Maye lead the celebrations and traditional punishment Fireball shots at Tap House. 

Andy Wiles, making his season debut, didn’t do well, following shots for first appearance, full kit wanker, still wearing his shin pads at 7pm, being from Coventry. Doesn’t matter, Cosmos are champions!!!


Voodoo Child were paired to Voodoo on derby day. For the Voodoo it didn’t get off to a great start with the Minister of Transport confounded by a rogue bus driver meaning that 90% of players made it to the pitch with seconds to spare. 

For VC, a win would keep them in with a slim chance of finishing in the top two and therefore going up. As such VC went into the game with many injured souls returning to action.

It was Voodoo Child who started the brighter of the sides, with their patented passing game splitting the Voodoo midfield as if it was the bill for their girlfriend experiences on the recent VC tour to Bangkok. 

Chances were at a premium, as you might expect from a 1pm kickoff in the Shanghai heat and both teams lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, and it had all the excitement of a tax return until Jack ‘Nice Swan’ Webster took the game by the scruff of the neck and laid on a pass that has already gone down in club folklore. 

Jonny White was on hand to tap it in after the hard work from the Wirral Pogba and Voodoo had drawn first blood taking a 0-1 lead. That put them at ease and they added another before the interval thanks to Ben ‘I don’t lose derbies’ Avery who used his boss eyes to boss effect in sending King Lear (below) the wrong way and 0-2. 

The only hope for VC came with the introduction of Sam ’Jesus’ France after four months lost in the wilderness seeking inspiration while nursing an ankle injury. 

The second half began much better for VC with Ned Kelly (below with new trainee for illegal outback activities) through on goal only to slice wide and another near miss for Kelly came after good work from a Jesus cut back. 

The Child had the better of the second half with the man they call Jesus rising like, well, Jesus to head in getting a goal back at 1-2. Jesus: “Get lost, seek inspiration and score!”

But they could not turn their superior league position into an equalizer and 1-2 it finished before the club cemented its reputation as the only club to have an open-top bus tour for finishing in third and fourth. Voodoo’s Mike Wrynne picked up man of the match honors. 

Well done to Kam for his organization and inspirational team talks throughout a highly successful season for VC. Kam: “We gave Voodoo a little lift for the cup semi game next week.”


Kangbei United FC did battle with Long Tang AFC in a Chinese derby. The game got underway with both teams making their offensive intentions clear. Chances came and went but both sides were in balance and got on the score sheet once for a 1-1 tie at halftime. 

In the second half more of the same as both squads found the net once. The match ended in a 2-2 stalemate with both teams sharing the spoils. 

Jiangang Sun and Nianhui Cheng scored the Kangbei goals. Guodong Jing and Jun Wu scored for Long Tang. Kangbei’s Siwei Ren and Long Tang’s Jun Wu picked up man of the match honors. 


STANDINGS


Shanghai International Football League

 

Visit the official SIFL website to find out more.http://www.eteamz.com/SIFL/

Tom Bus

 

Lions lose 4-1 in their last SIFL 16/17 game

Lions,

[ SIFL ] Japan FC 4 – 1 Shanghai Lions FC

Earlier this season, the Japanese team ended up our tittle’s hope with a poor draw performance which trigger a series of unusual defeats. For this last SIFL game of season 2016/2017, the expectation was to crush the “poor” Japanese aiming to finish this difficult season on a positive note. It was also the last game of our young goalie, Riccardo Cuda, whom for the occasion has been given the captainship.

We started the game on our traditional 4-3-3 with Romain & Fabi in the back but our light warm-up paid its tribute as we struggled to get pass the midfield with a good pressing from our opponents. After a few alerts, Japanese striker finished us off after a Gerard’s slipping from Romain. We brought fresh blood after 30 mn with the entry of Rosie and Kevin and game leveled off with few opportunities of both side. 1-0 for Japan at half-time.

In 2nd half, we decided to play a little more direct to avoid Japan’s pressing in the midfield. Unfortunately, Japan scored quickly another goal by the inevitable and talented Hirai… From this moment, we finally started to play a little better and David Hunter in his excellent box to box quality reduced the scored. As we were pushing for the equalizer, we depleted our defensive line and conceded another 2 goals from a header and a long range lucky shot.

Now that season is over, it will be time soon for analysis and we will need to discuss what’s our plan for next year.

In the meantime, we still have training and few important games to play such a Veteran game against Welsh Bellies & SPL Cup game against Century Park next Sunday.

Cheers
Lions Management Team

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