Lions beat Galacticos 15-0

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For this SPL game vs. Galacticos, we had a large squad with a mix of old and young players. Remi was making his debut as Lions while George (one of our youth player) was playing for the first time with the seniors as left back. For this game, our only problem was that Galacticos only had 9 players at the start of the match… As the weather was too good and everybody was ready to play, we went ahead and decided to play the game still. Despite this numerical advantage, the team agreed that the key of the game would be to stay focus/serious as it was important for us to work on the goal difference and keep a clean-sheet.

In the first half we played a bit too slow and didn’t make use of the fact that we were playing against 9 instead of 11 players but we still managed to score 7 goals. In the second half, we let the substitutes come in and played a bit faster. The game got better as well as Galacticos managed to finally get a full squad. At the end, we scored 8 more goals in the 2nd half and a good save by Noel (our goalie) helped us to keep the sheet clean.

 

Lets all come to the training to stay in shape and focus on the next match against Japan.

You can also click herfor the match statistics.

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions start 2019 on a good note

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Last weekend, the Lions family decided to start 2019 on a good note taking into consideration that usually right after new year we are not 100% in shape… In our senior match match especially, our Kickers opponent had lined up good players from everywhere to try to beat us but our combination with youth, experience and collective spirit on the pitch made it happen !

  • On Saturday our U15 beat the Dulwich Earthquakes academy 4-0 with a great hard working team effort
  • Sunday morning, our legends beat England 3-1 with a good team performance
  • Icing on the cake on Sunday afternoon, the Senior beat the Kickers 5-1 with a hard fought team effort !

 

Well done but the new year is just beginning so we see you all on Tuesday at the first training of 2019 ! !

 

Cheers
Freek

Santa Cup 2018 won by Lions U18

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Santa Cup 2018

For the Santa Cup 2018 edition, we were kind of lucky with the weather as the day before its was freezing cold in Shanghai. With 8 teams all decorated with Santa hats we were good to go. The lions had a small senior team with only 8 players and the president as goalie but also a large youth squad with 14 players ! The Seniors lost their first match vs. Wellington 3-2 but went on a rampage in their second match scoring 9 goals in 20 minutes and kept a clean sheet. In the final match against the Kickers they went 2-0 up but let them come back only to take the win in the very last minute 3-2 which allowed them getting into the final. In the other group, U18 Lions also lost their 1st match vs the Marlins 1-2… Here as well, they they won their 2nd game against Da Marco 2-1. On their last match, they beat Japan 4-2 to set up an all Lions final !

Both the Seniors and the Lions U18 didn’t want to lose this edition Santa Cup 2018 edition. Both teams tried their best to score first but with the goalies on fine form the match ended in 0-0 ! Penalties were needed to decide the winner and there were a few misses… Lewis‘ ball is still missing after his penalty went into orbit and Chris, on his side, helped Lions U18 with his wide shot. In the end the Lions U18 won 5-4 and were happy to take the Santa Cup 2018.

It’s the first time in over 10 years that a Lion’s team win the Cup ! It was a great day with a lot of fun matches ! Well done young Lions and fully deserved !

Happy Freek

Shanghai Lions beat Marlins 5-0

It was the biggest match of the season so far, two undefeated teams going head-to-head, renewing their historic rivalry! A full Lions squad arrived early and ready to go, eager to get revenge after losing the championship to the Marlins last season.

The opening stages of the match saw the Lions sit back, content to let Marlins play out of their defence. The Marlins midfielders looked to get the ball out wide quickly before crossing from deep into the box. The early crosses from deep gave a preview of the Marlins’ game plan and allowed our new center backs, Koen and Jesse, to settle into their first Lions-Marlins match by winning the early aerial battles. The Marlins often looked for cross-field switches as they looked to get their speedy wingers involved, but Masa and Nico were dominating their individual matchups and didn’t allow their Marlins wingers to get comfortable in the game. The Marlins had one or two crosses that looked threatening and a few shots from distance but, for the most part, our keeper Noel wasn’t challenged.

As both teams settled into the game, the Lions found opportunities to break with speed. The Marlins didn’t look comfortable on the few occasions that the Lions pushed up and pressed them higher up the field and they started to become frustrated with themselves. Romain, Azz and Tyrone had half-chances, but the score remained 0-0 until Azz broke down the left-hand side on a counter-attack, beat his man around the outside, and whipped a looping shot into the far corner of the net from close to the endline. 1-0 Lions! The pace of the game picked up and Marlins pushed forward. As their midfielders surged forward and their wingbacks pushed on, it left room for the Lions to exploit on the counter-attack. On one of these occasions, Azz held the ball up looking for the run of Romain only to see a blur of speed bursting through the middle of the Marlins defense! Patrick made the run, Azz put the ball through the gap, and Pat slide the ball passed an onrushing keeper. 2-0! Tempers started to flare as the game heated up just before half-time, but it went to half 2-0.

The Lions utilized their bench and made a few changes at half-time. It was a true team effort, with each player giving everything they had when on the pitch. The second half started similarly to how the first half ended. Marlins continued to launch long balls into the box, but Koen, Jack, Masa, and Nico dealt with them with relative ease. The midfield subs kept doing the job that Yohan, Pat, Tyrone, and Zach did in the first half, containing the space in the middle and looking to break with speed. The Lions pushed further up the field, pressing the backline of the Marlins who didn’t look comfortable under pressure. The game was tense as the next goal would be important. If Marlins got it, they would feel they had a way back into the game. If the Lions got it, it would put them just about out of reach. It took a moment of magic. Azz received the ball 35 yards out, turned his man and looked up to see the Marlins keeper off his line and sublimely chipped him from distance! 3-0 Lions!

The Marlins continued to push for a goal but started to become more and more frustrated with themselves, the referee, and the Lions. It was a sign of the Lions success. Our game plan had not given the Marlins a chance. The Marlins continued to look for opportunities down the wings and once or twice put dangerous crosses into the box. Noel remained alert, confident, and showed a safe pair of hands in goal despite the rainy conditions. The Lions didn’t stop and continued to pressure the backs of the Marlins. Dave put their left-back and keeper under pressure causing a poor clearance that Matty intercepted. Matty got to the loose ball ahead of the scrambling Marlins and laid it off to Dave for the easiest of tap-ins. 4-0! As the game drew to a close, pressure by Matty lead to Tyrone winning the ball in the Marlins half and putting them on the back foot again. Tyrone fed Matty who beat two defenders before smashing it low into the far corner. 5-0! The fifth was the icing on the cake and the Lions enjoyed a sweet victory, our largest over the Marlins since a 7-1 thrashing in 2016.

 

The beers after the game were well-deserved and the Lions will now get back to work to build upon this impressive victory.

Click herfor the match statistics.

 

Cheers
Dave

The revenant “fur trapper” scores 2 for his return against Japan

The revenantIt was a warm November afternoon and we needed every player that was available to take on a technical and fit Japanese team. We had 13 players but only two natural defenders and no goalkeeper! Luckily, Laid was willing to play back-to-back games and play left back and Dave made his goalkeeping debut! We start well, controlling the game and forced the Japanese on the backfoot. The Japanese seemed content to sit back and then counter-attack with speed in numbers. Our Dutch center backs, Koen and Jesse, handled everything with ease and our new goalkeeper wasn’t too busy for most of the first half! We patiently built out of the back well, using the strengths of our back four and keeper, and the central midfield started to connect effectively with some nice one-touch passing and good movement, which started to open up the Japanese defence and one of those moves lead to the revenant Romain being played in behind the Japanese defence and scoring the opening goal. We controlled possession but the Japanese made some substitutions and their counter-attacking speed put us under some pressure. We started to commit a few silly fouls and in the last minute of the first half gave away an unnecessary freekick by fouling a player on the edge of our box as he was going towards the corner flag. We didn’t get organized quickly enough, leaving an unmarked Japanese player at the back post and he headed back across goal and his header snuck inside the post. The half-time score was 1-1.

Luckily, Adam had just come to watch the game and when he noticed our captain in goal he offered to suit up and jump in goal for the second half. We regrouped, adjusted our formation, and made a few substitutions at halftime. We started the half well, immediately spreading the ball around and attacking down the wings. Less than 10 minutes into the first half, we went up 2-1 with a goal of the season nominee! A ball out of the back found Tomas just inside the Japanese half, he controlled it well, and laid it back to Dave on the right wing. As the ball rolled back across the half-way line, Dave saw the keeper off his line and hit it first time. The keeper peddled backwards but couldn’t keep it out! 2-1! We dominated possession and created a number of chances in the second half. Our defense played out of the back well and Tyrone and Dim increased the tempo through the middle. Good movement out wide and across the front was causing trouble for the Japanese as was our high-pressure. However, with 10 minutes to go as we started to tire in the heat, the Japanese found and opening through a counter-attack and levelled the score 2-2. We brought Romain back on and continued to create chances. Laid, Dim, and Tyrone tried their luck from distance, while Jeremy had a one-on-one opportunity saved. With two minutes left, Koen sent a goal kick forward, which Dave flicked onto Jeremy, whose touch put Romain clean through who finished with an expertly placed finish leading us to a 3-2 victory!

 

Well done Lions and you can click here for the match statistics.

 

Cheers
Dave

Lions beat Kickers 3-1 with Pat de Gea as last man

Sometimes you end up having a small squad which turns out to be positive as long as you play the whole match as one team and that’s what happened ! The kickers came with a good squad with plenty of experienced players and very fast forward players. As we didn’t found a regular goalie for the first team we had Patrick putting on the gloves. In this case we used Pat de Gea as last man and he was involved many times in the build up.

We played compact as we knew that running after long balls for 90 minutes with only 12 players will not be a good idea. With a lot of short passes we tried to tire the opponent out and run after the ball. Kicker came very close to open the score first as the hit the crossbar but Pat de Gea claimed he knew it… The lions were playing on counters and set pieces. It was on a counter where the Kickers couldn’t deal with our shot on target and in the rebound Tomas was alert and scored as if he was 35 years old ! Half time 1-0 up we knew that another 45 minutes of hard work would pay off !

We kept possession at the back for longer periods and Kickers needed to chase us instead of we them ! We became more and more dangerous on counters and had chances to score. It was a great counter starting from the back and quick midfield passes that left youngest Lions Jeremy to volley and he did that german style perfect in the far corner ! Great goal and great team work for the build up to it ! Kickers got a chance to come back when a shot hit our player arm and a penalty was given. Pat the Gea choose left and the ball went right… ! 2-1 and we didn’t change the way we played and on a good counter Tomas was set up to finish the match by Azz but instead he gave the ball back to Azz and he did some playstation FIFA 2020 tricks to make it 3-1 for the Lions ! In the end the Kickers ran out of gas and we were happy to take the three points with a small squad ! Well done Lions !

Click here for the match statistics

 

See you all on Tuesday at the training !

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions beat Galacticos 11-1 in the first season game

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 11 – 1 AVL Galacticos

We had a good mix of young and experienced players for our first season game against AVL Galacticos. With Adam Li as stand in goalie we started well. Matty was launched a couple of times and Dave, our Captain, also found the net after good build up plays. Azz scored from a direct free kick from the side and Chris also got on the goal scorers sheet. In the end Matty scored 5 and Victor,our other youngster, added another one.

It was a pity we slowed down in the last 20 minutes as we conceded one and didn’t score anymore… It reminded us we lost last season on the goal difference. In the meantime, Marlins beat Japan 10-1… you can see how important it is not to switch-off !!!

 

See you all on Tuesday training.

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions won the SPL opening tournament

tournamentIt was a beautiful day as we witnessed the clearest sky for many years in Shanghai ! The fields were perfect at the great facility of the Wellington International School ! The concept was quick fast games of 13 minutes each and each team to play each other once in a group of 7 teams

Lions had two teams and both had Freek & Fred who normally play for the Legends as stand in goals ! Our intention was to enjoy and have fun as we are still in pre season. Lions Team B with mostly players who had not played together before had a mixed tournament when terao-san came half way the tournament it improved the play of the team. In the end they ended 6th. Team A had a nice mix between experienced players and two youngster Matty and Philipp. While winning all of their matches the BIG match was against the old rival the Marlins that match was tight and ended in 0-0 so the tournament was decided on goal difference which this time was in favour of the Lions. Great way to start a new season !

 

We see you all at the training on Tuesday !

 

Cheers
Freek

Season 2017/18 has been a success

successful season 2017-2018Dear Senior Lions, Lions Youth, Lions Legends, Lions Abroad, Friends and Family ! As a club we ended our season last weekend with our youth clinching the SPL U17 Title ! While we started as an expat team back in 1996, we’re certainly now a real family Club ! We have three strong sections representing the club at the highest competitive football level in Shanghai ! All of this contributed to make a successful season 2017-2018 ! Xie Xie

 

Youth Academy (SPL U17)

Let’s start with our Lions Youth first as they have the future ! We were asked to take over the Century Park Youth (above 14 years old) back in May 2017… From day 1, we were committed to make it happen as we already had a youth team for the older players.

We set up the Shanghai Lions Youth Academy and were happy to have Azzeddine and Nick taking up the coaching / training jobs ! We trained twice a week on Wednesday and Friday at the great 11 aside field of Concordia and played matches in the SPL U17 league on Saturdays. The commitment and hard work of our players at the training was outstanding and week after week our team got stronger and stronger. Suddenly, players from all over the world started to bond and what was crucial was that especially our older youth players started to feel responsible for the younger ones and they gave them great support and advice during the season !

This in the end resulted in success ! First we won the Aksil Cup beating the German in final on penalties ! It showed our never give up mentality ! In the SPL U17 league we were trailing from behind after two losses early in the season but week after week we got stronger and stronger. Therefore, when Wiss Stoke City slipped up against Ebbe Sand we knew that a win over Japan would give us the title ! We didn’t have to tell the young lions what was at stake as a large win sealed the deal and it was great end of a great season !

Matty got the SPL top scorer award with 19 goals and Julia picked up the Champions award as our captain ! Great team effort and great job from the coaches !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Matthew Ward 15 7 19
Philipp Jobst 18 10 11
Victor Xavier Veloso 18 6 4
more stats

Youth Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

First Team (SPL)

Next up are our Lions Senior players who played in the SPL, a competition we have won multiple times ! With the Cowboys and ERS having left the league, we knew that the Marlins will be our closest rival. Also, it was clear that we couldn’t afford any slip against other teams !

In the first half of the season we won all our games but when we were up against the Marlins for the first time on January 14 we got an important wake up call as we not only lost Azz by injury during the game but we lost the match without creating opportunities 4-0 ! The turn out of the training during the winter started to drop which was not a good sign.

Luckily, some of our Youth players were ready to help out and started to get more and more playing time in our first team. We had to wait until April 14 to have our second encounter against the Marlins a loss would end our hopes. With a 1-1 score line and with 15 minutes to go on the clock it was by goals of our youngsters Shingi and Matty that gave us a 3-1 win and kept us in the race.

So the Championship race came down to the final match of the season we needed a win as we tied on goal difference but had scored less goals. The Marlins took the title away from us in a well deserved 3-2 win ! We gave it all in the second half and showed great team spirit on and off the field ! We will try to get the title back next season and we know now that we cannot slip up after the Christmas break !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Azzeddine Takouloufa 34 11 13
Shingai Nindi 19 7 9
Romain & Jerome a Bloc Romain Haution 32 9 9
more stats

First Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

Veteran Team (SPL V)

Our Legends were in the race for the SPL V Championship which went to the Emeralds on previous season ! However this time Emerald slipped up twice losing against Japan and Scotland and we were in a very close race with Japan for the title. In our second last match we faced Japan and we needed a draw to clinch the title ! The match was nerve wrecking but our defensive strategy paid off as we made sure Japan couldn’t counter we even scored first with a fine strike of Laid. With great saves from our goalie Clement and solid defensive work we could keep Japan on hold but they got one goal back and the last 10 minutes were not for the faint hearted people ! The final whistle was a big relief and we could start the celebrations ! SPL V Champions !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Frederic Guilloux 43 12 17
Nicolas Bouchou 41 10 7
James B 47 10 5
more stats

Veteran Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

Two Championship Titles and a Second place is a good result for the Club. A special thank you is well placed for the hard work Azzeddine and Nick have done to keep us fit and sharp and focused at the training ! The training were great week in and week out ! Of course we also like to thank Concordia for allowing us to use their great facilities as nothing better than to train at a full size 11 aside field ! Our website reached 2.5 M clicks this year which is an achievement in its own right. Big thank you for Francois keeping track of the site and statistics for the players ! Thank you Thomas Z for helping to coach the first team !

What was important this season was that we got several youth players making their debut in the senior first team and they did very well as well we got several senior players making their debut in the Legends team and they did well as well. This makes our club real and unique in Shanghai ! Lets keep supporting each other and make the Club stronger and stronger !

As every year,  a few players will leave us at the end of this season and we wish them good luck with their new life and ventures outside China. Now, we already managed to recruit a few new players on all three levels which is very important for the consistency of the teams in our Club !

 

We hope everybody will enjoy the World Cup and the Summer break and we are looking forward to see you all back in Shape in August ! Well done Lions Youth, Lions and Lions Legends !

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions lose to Marlins in SPL Championship final

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 2 – 3 Shanghai Marlins FC

SPL ChampionshipFor this SPL Championship game final, the setting was perfect with a beautiful pitch and good weather as it was not too hot to play ! We had a large Lions squad and a good mix of young talented youth players mixed with senior and experienced senior players. We were happy as well to have DimDim defending our goal on the day. The Marlins our rival and opponent were equal on points and equal on goal difference but they had scored three goals more than us and we conceded three goals less so the rule is that goals scored prevails over the conceded once so it meant that we had to win the match as a draw was not enough. Our game plan was to try to keep it 0-0 as long as we could and push hard in the later part of the game.

In the first 15 minutes it worked as with only Shingi and Romain upfront and the Marlins sitting back it was easy to keep possession. After that we lost our composure as our defense line was too deep and our forwards too far forward which created space in the midfield for the Marlins. It was a very unlucky bounce of the ball right in front of Dim which destroyed our game plan after 20 minutes as the Marlins took the lead. When after a foul on Azz the referee didn’t give a free kick and we thought Marlins would stop the game as Azz was injured we were switched off and the Marlins made it 2-0 !

At half time we realized it was no point to look back on what happened but instead we had 45 minutes left to come back. We let two more youngster play Matty and Philipp and with Terao in the midfield we were looking for a break through. It came after a good counter attack on the left finished with no hesitation by Conway. As we needed to push forward it also give long ball counter opportunities for the Marlins and it was one of those that destroyed our ambitions. However even at 3-1 down we still kept fighting and it was Jack with a good header from an Azz free kick which made it 3-2 ! Soon Azz set up Matty who made a great run but he just couldn’t get the ball under control enough to shoot !

When the final whistle came we all agreed the Marlins deserved the title and we congratulated them. We know we messed up in the first half but we also know that we showed amazing team and fighting spirit in the second half ! Although we lost the match and we lost the title we won as club as the amount of legends, family and friends who came to watch and support was incredible, esp Max who came on crutches and Kevin who missed most of the season due to a health issue showed to true lions spirit !

 

Proud to be a Lion and for next season we are already motivated to get the SPL title back !

 

Cheers
Freek

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