Shanghai Japan FC, Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC, Shanghai 3United, Azzurri FC, Shanghai Lions FC (above), Kangbei United FC, Shanghai Cosmos and Voodoo all advance to the SIFL Cup Quarters.
SIFL Cup-First Round
Shanghai Lions FC crossed swords with Shanghai ReUnited. SIFL’s newest ref Antonio Severo and his crew (above) oversaw this match with verve and accuracy as they did the match earlier.
The Lions management (above) went over the playbook prior to the match to prevent the ‘Azzurri trap’ from happening again. Several new plays were added and it immediately worked wonders. The squad felt rejuvenated and performed well.
The game started with the Lions attacking ferociously and they dug into ReUnited as if they were the last prey on the plains. They went up 1-0 and then complacency set in. This allowed ReUnited to get back into the game via a Sascha Höltke strike evening out the score 1-1 and that’s how an entertaining first half ended.
In the second half, the Lions picked it up a notch when the Azzeddine Takouloufa show started. With sheer determination the ball moved from left to right until it was in the ReU net for 2-1 and that’s when the fat lady sang.
Fabien Barbet and Agajan Nyazberdiyev scored the Lions goals with Takouloufa picking up man of the match honors. Freek: “I love that lady.”
Shanghai Cosmos locked horns with the Shanghai Vikings FC. A much-changed Cosmos team both on the pitch and in the dugout took to the field expecting a tough battle against a strong Vikings team. A scrappy opening 15 from both sides didn’t offer much evidence of the scintillating goals to come as Cosmos’ attacking Bogan Trident were trying their usual flicks and tricks from the off to very little avail.
Some composed defending from the Cosmos preceded an injury to Matthieu Jouan with young Jack Greenwell stepping in to midfield. It wasn’t long after this when the scoring was opened. Great work from Greenwell along the sideline to get to the ball to Shaun Kastelijn who in turn got it to Jordan Campbell who curled an absolute beauty into the top corner taking a 1-0 Cosmos lead.
The Vikings started to come into the game a little more as the half wore on forcing a great save from Keeper Kang. There was still time for one last Cosmos chance as Campbell tried to replicate his earlier finish however he hit the bar and unfortunately Peter Bradford was the wrong man in the right place as he mistimed his follow up header.
Both teams made some changes at the interval and it started quite scrappily again with some misplaced passes and dodgy touches. But it was the Cosmos who drew blood again as Jordan Campbell latched onto a Jonny Sellars header to lash the ball in from some distance for 2-0.
Although this match played in good spirits throughout, Peter Bradford still managed to get his customary booking in. He followed this up with another Bradford special (a sliced goal attempt rolled into the keeper’s hands) after being put through by a rare Campbell pass.
It was then that the Cosmos keeper started to prove his worth, making another top save before getting his first assist of the season as he played a ball to Jordan Campbell to lob the keeper for another great goal from distance and a 3-0 lead.
Substitute Adam Stringer was the next to make his mark on the game with a great finish from a Sellars assist to continue his record of scoring in every game sending Cosmos up 4-0.
Finally in a day of quality goals the Cosmos saved their best till last as good work on the wing from Greenwell led to Ant Sparks scoring an absolute screamer from 14 inches to nab his first goal for the club and a final 5-0 score line.
A hard fought win against a battling Vikings side that continued to work till the end. The Cosmos bid farewell to another player in this week’s captain David E. who has proven to be a great asset this season.
Jonny Sellars picked up man of the match honors again.
Azzurri FC were paired to FC Oranje for their first round encounter. Oranje came well prepared and continued their winning ways with another glorious victory of the Third-Half@Cages!
Earlier on the pitch, both teams started with attacking aspirations. Azzurri created several chances in the opening face as did the Dutch. After about 30mins Azzurri opened the scoring when a low drive in the box was tapped in by Nicolas Fajardo taking a 1-0 Azzurri lead.
The men in orange tried to do something back when Marijn Ten Wolde had a rush over the left that brought him to goal but keeper Alex Zhao stood in his way.
Moments later Mubanga Vwalika (above) had a chance with a one on one but his effort just went wide. Hope Fan got played free with the keeper to beat but Zhao saved his effort as well. An exhilarating first half ended with a 1-0 score line.
In the second half, Oranje applied more pressure which lead to a few chances but it was Azzurri who better handled their moments. From one such opportunity Nicolas Fajardo got fouled in the box and a penalty was given. Fajardo dully converted for 2-0.
A few moments later Fajardo drove the ball in the box and got fouled again for another penalty, which he also disposed off for 3-0.
The Orangemen then created a great chance when Vwalika had one on one with the keeper. This time the keeper fouled him and a penalty was given. Aurelien Souici (above) converted from the spot kick for 3-1. Soon after that from a quick counter Steven Yuan scored from close range to make it 4-1.
The Dutch then decided to focus on records as the new age master took the field to the delight of the spectators and the world at large. Azzurri won the contest 4-1 and advanced to quarterfinals. Nicolas Fajardo picked up man of the match honors.
Azzurri and Oranje went to Cages for another enlightening Third-Half@Cages contest. It actually wasn’t much of a contest as no one can out drink Team Orange this season. Oranjeboom was there! Goal scorers below with the record holder.
Long Tang AFC were pitted against Voodoo. It was a lovely sunny day that was made to feel more like a day at the beach thanks to the sandpits masquerading as a penalty area and Voodoo’s day-glo green-yellow (grellow) away kit. To say that minds were elsewhere at kickoff was an understatement.
Long Tang hit the bar within seconds of the off, the latest in this season’s long line of Voodoo keepers stranded only to see the ball rebound to safety. Still the early running was Long Tang’s with their false 8, 9 and 10 formation pulling a poorly outfitted back four all over the show and there was another scare when a corner glanced the face of the bar in the opening exchanges.
Voodoo then came into the game but for poor finishing from Jack the Lad, FX and – following one of Jacob’s fabled ‘back spinning over balls’ – Sam Woollard, could have been up at the break. Nil-nil at halftime and not a tackle made. Credit to the referee.
Another goal followed with Woolly channeling Di Canio (for his volley rather than his questionable politics) to knock in Olivier Courades’ chip for 0-2 and cruising down Easy Street until Avery made a game of it with a combination of errors that started with him ignoring the shout to let a corner trickle out for a goal kick and ended with him kicking the ball into his own hands for the oddest penalty of the season.
The ensuing spot kick was subsequently fired through the keeper by Kai Sun for 1-2 to create a nervy last ten minutes. Game one of the three game series goes to Voodoo. See you next week, Long Tang, and the week after. No man of the match honors were given.
Shanghai Japan FC did battle with Voodoo Child. VC were able to field a strong squad over the course of the afternoon. Jesus and his troop, having expensed their taxi fares with Disney, arrived mid-way through the first half to much fanfare.
Kam having read the news about Leicester was keen to have a tinker around to suit the VC post Cossack and opted for a 352 with subterfuge. All seemed to adjust to the new formation with the exception of one unnamed player subbed after 15mins.
The first half was action packed but with limited opportunities at both ends. However, the deadlock was finally broken with some nice football chess by the Japanese that resulted in a 1-0 lead and that’s how 45mins of football ended.
The second half started well for Japan and they quickly doubled the score to 2-0. However VC came roaring back to 2-2 with a swift double by Jesus, a fortunate penalty dispatched and a converted cross from the educated and re-invigorated nameless player of first half.
The Japanese eager to avoid the penalty threat of Jules, stepped it up a gear, hit the exposed wings of VC to make it 4-2 and seal the next round in the cup. Mission accomplished for Kam and 352 packed away for another season.Norihiko Sakura (2), Tomoyuki Hirai and Takuya Nakano scored the Japan goals (above). Yasutomo Toyofuku picked u man of the match honors.
The Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC faced Shanghai United. While the Shooters arrived with a full squad the same cannot be said for United, who, after some last minutes calls, managed to get eleven to the field with them taking in turns to go in goal. This set the story of beard oils and balms versus United trying to keep the Shooters at Bay.
It wasn’t long before Mike Mcgirr tapped home after the stand in keeper spilled his initial header for 1-0. Wilson Scott added another with a nice curling drive into the corner for 2-0. Things went from bad to worse for United as they went down to ten men around the half hour mark- one of them not surviving a robust Fabio Gillue challenge. *(The incident is under investigation as footage of the horror tackle emerged-may have major consequences for their title race aspirations)
Chances came galore, but some poor finishing stopped the Shooters increasing their lead until Benoit Doche added a third before the half with a powerful half volley that was too hot for the make shift goalie to handle. Shooters went in 3-0 up.
Second half saw more of the same as the tiring ten men of United were pinned back even further into their half. Even more chances went begging for the Shooters side. However Mcgirr did get his second of the match with a low drive for 4-0 and Roland Broughton got himself on the score sheet tapping in a cross for 5-0.
Biggest moment of the day was Steven Fong managing to bag his first goal of the season for 6-0, surprising everyone. The game ended 6-0 to the Shooters and credit goes to the effort put in by the boys from United who turned up on the day; they worked hard and played fair despite squad issues-we are all United! Wilson Scott received man of match honors.
The Shanghai Krauts FC slugged it out with Shanghai 3United. The Krauts had to mobilize several old warhorses to try and let experience triumph over innocence.
They had a great start as Stoyan Atsarov headed home from a corner taking a 1-0 lead. This made 3U realize to increase their effort as the experienced German warriors were up to the task.
The Krauts welcomed Elvis Adrovic (#17) back in their squad and that greatly shook up the 3U defense. Elvis did well and almost sealed his comeback with a goal but the keeper stopped his header.
3U’s put more men forward and their pressure yielded before the half was over when they managed to even out the score at 1-1 and that’s how the first half ended.
Juergen Sievers (above) was in fine defensive form neutralizing several 3U attacks. As the match wore on the aging Krauts’ legs were tiring rapidly and a youthful 3U took full advantage of that. They managed to score the winner in the second half and won the contest 2-1 advancing to the quarters.
Joshua Chileshe and Leo Kwon scored the 3U goals with Marco Gauden picking up man of the match honors. 3U’s Kris Goj (above) played his last match for 3U as he is going back to Europe. We thank him for his tireless effort and wish him good luck in his future ventures.
Kangbei United FC squared off against Shanghai Tianfu FC in the Chinese derby. Kangbei began with the Cameroon contingent and started well. They combined through the middle and created several chances and managed to score 3 times in the first half.
Tianfu came with attacking intentions as well as they netted two goals for a 3-2 Kangbei lead at halftime. In the second half, Tianfu knew that it would take just one goal to send the match to extra time. They did just that and tied the score to 3-3. In overtime no goals were scored so that a penalty shootout had decide the winner.
Both teams missed a few but in the end Kangbei won the shootout 2-1 and advanced to the next round. Xiaorong Wu, Jun Xu and Liming Wang scored for Tianfu. Juan Jose (2) and Jackson Katta (red cap) scored for Kangbei. Jiangang Sun and Xiaorong Wu picked up man of the match honors.
Shanghai International Football League
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