Lions beat Marlins in a six goal thriller

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thrillerFor this 1st deciding game of the season against Marlins, we knew this could be another thriller as some of our players were missing due to the Phuket tournament. As a consequence, we came up with a small squad but it is sometimes better having a small motivated crew instead of a large one. Until Friday evening we were not sure about our goalie as our worst-case scenario was to put Pat as the goalkeeper. On Saturday morning thanks to the help of Arnault we got a goalie and could work on our formation! During our warming up we got Yu injured that left us with 15 minutes to go with only 13 players and no goalie as Matt was struggling to find the field. However, he arrives in good spirits and motivated 5 minutes before kick-off!

[ SPL ] Shanghai Marlins FC 2-4 Shanghai Lions FC

The early tactic was to focus on defense first and play compact and wait for the counter opportunities. We worked very well as a team in the first 15 minutes with good ball circulation and possession. It was a long-distance strike from Kevin which couldn’t be stopped well by the Marlins goalie and Arnault was alert to give us an early lead. We knew nothing was won yet but tried to play in the same formation and style almost got the 2-0 when a great thru ball reached Arnault on the run but his effort went offer. Marlins did get a couple of corners which were very dangerous and it was one of their counters where we were unlucky not to be able to clear the ball but instead handed it to the Marlins attacker who equalized 10 minutes before half time!

At half time we made two changes as Terao-san arrived and we tried to play the same as the first half but the Marlins got the better of us in the first 15 minutes putting more pressure on our defenders. As the game moved on we got our playback and got a few occasions. On a counter led by Arnault, we finally got the 2-1 lead with a goal from Philipp. Marlins pushed more players forward and got a lucky reward when a foul from Fafa on Masa turned into a foul from Maso on Fafa and the referee gave a thriller penalty! It was 2-2 with 7 minutes to go and everybody thought it was the final score but the Lions had other ideas pushing everybody forward and a long throw-in from big John caused havoc in the Marlins penalty box and our youngster Alvaro was alert to score 3-2 and within the next two minutes he scored the final score 4-2 on a counter after a supercross from Big John our right-back while all the Marlins were going forward to equalize!

 

What a match! A super team effort with a lot of hard work for each other. A great pleasure seeing so many happy faces at the end of the game after this thriller.

  • Great goalkeeping from Matt
  • Great leadership from the older players
  • Great play from the youngster Laurenz, Matthew & Alvaro
  • Great support from Julia & Nick

Lions, we are one family and one team !  Well done!

 

Happy
Freek

Lions beat Galacticos with youngest average starting XI

youngest averageIt was a blistering sunny day down at Wellington High School. The Lions were prepared early to do a professionally run warm-up and witness Patrick squeeze into some incredibly tight white shorts.  Our focused warm-up seemed to work, as within the first minute the Lions had worked their way up in the pitch, in neat triangles, and were 1-0 up within seconds. Our squad was very young… probably the youngest average ever for the Lions in SPL.

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 11-0 AVL Galacticos

Our youthful energy paid dividends as we quickly added to the scoresheet. Within 20 or so minutes the game was already ours, a scoreline of 5-0 allowed the Lions to relax. Galacticos made some changes and started to get on the ball a little more, Lions didn’t panic and cut out any potential attacks.

Half time arrived and the boys were told to continue playing with the same enthusiasm but to be wary not to let the opposition play. We responded well by adding to our goal tally, and it was clear that the game was out of reach. There were some special goals amongst the onslaught, particular mention must go to Matty who added 4 goals to his total. Furthermore, it’s important to congratulate all of the youth players who came down for the senior team. Excellent performances all around and this game will be remembered as Lions youngest average team ever. Seb 3, Romain 2, Matty 4, Tomas 2.

 

Cheers
Tyrone

Lions beat FC Kickers 2-1

FC KickersAs legends’ opponent couldn’t play this Sunday, we could start our SPL Senior new season with our first match versus the FC Kickers instead. We had a late kick-off on a wet AstroTurf at Wellington College. Several new players were ready to make their debut.

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 2-1 Shanghai Kickers FC

Our intention was to make a quick impact by using the speed of our wingers on the flanks. Pat in the goal with Laid and Benji in the back to take care of the defense. It worked out well as we took the lead after 5 minutes with a good finish from Romain. Helped by the wind we kept the pressure on the FC Kickers defense. We got more opportunities but failed to finish them. Tyron had a great chance but his free header went wide. Our second goal was quite lucky as a poor corner was missed by several players and ended up at Laid’s feet in the back an easy tip-in gave us a 2-0 lead at half time.

In the second half, our intention was to make the third and use the new players for the last part of the match. However, we failed to take our chances and as the match went on we lost our grip on the midfield and the Kickers got more and more possession and were dangerous on the counter. When they scored the 2-1 it was clear the last 20 minutes were not going to be easy. They had the best chance to make it 2-2 with 5 minutes to go but lucky for us the ball went over. It stayed 2-1 three points for us but it was evident that most players were not up to their usual level yet.

 

Let’s work hard at the training this week!

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions see their SPL title hope slip away vs. Shanghai Marlins FC

Shanghai Marlins FCWith several regular players out injured and/or not available, we started with a small squad against our old rival Shanghai Marlins FC. Knowing that a draw would be enough to secure the title, we tried to play with a compact defense and wait for a few counter opportunities. Last but not the least, we had 4 youngsters in our starting line-up. For most of them, it was the first time to face the Marlins.

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 0 – 1 Shanghai Marlins FC

We showed good composure and resilience in the first half. The Shanghai Marlins FC created a few chances but we managed to defend them well. Elvis came close and expected a penalty when he was brought down. It was 0-0 in the first half but we knew that we had to stay focused as one small mistake could cost us the title.

The second half was very high intensity with the match going up and down at a very fast pace. The Marlins pushed a bit more and got some dangerous crosses in from the left… Unfortunately they scored the 0-1 with 20 minutes to go… We didn’t give up and tried to get an equalizer. We did have a few shots on target but were not really dangerous in their box.

It’s our first defeat this year but a costly one as the Shanghai Marlins FC can overtake our position if they beat the Galacticos with a lot of goals in their final match. We were happy with the performance of the youngsters but of course not happy with the result.

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions beat SPQR Da Marcos to stay on top of the SPL

SPQR Da MarcosLast Sunday, the score was not what we wanted the most as of course we preferred to have a clean sheet… Then, we should have scored more but what i liked with this the squad is that everybody came on time and motivated to play and give SPQR Da Marcos who said they are here to win the league a hard time !

Shanghai Lions FC 4 – 1 SPQR Da Marcos

Remember guys that what make Shanghai Lions FC unique is that we’re the only amateur club to give playing opportunities for youngster in Shanghai but also let them feel part of the team and club ! We had Philipp‘s father making video’s of the game and we had Matty out injured coming with his parents to watch as well as Noel (our youth goalie) who played in the senior team a few times to help out to come and watch. Romain, a bit injured also, came as well. Last but not the least, Kader‘s girlfriend taking all the pictures today although 90% of him… Terao was captain today and Azz stayed aside doing the coaching job ! Big John came in the last minutes and the young French players Raphael and Antoine made their debut.

 

To me all this is more important than the score against SPQR Da Marcos ! Because next week we will be very motivated to make up for the missed chances and show who we really are ! See you all on Tuesday.

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions beat Japan to go on top of the SPL

Today the most important for us was to pay respect to the former Japanese Captain who sadly passed away in Japan last week only 33 years of age. These things are hard to understand as he was great player and real leader of the Japanese team when we still played in the SIFL. Life some time is hard to understand but the fact that Japan played today with most of their players attending the funeral is also special and it was very nice to see both teams paying respect to him and we hope he can rest in peace ! I have very deep respect for the Japanese players even losing 9-0 but never gave up given the circumstances…

 

Lets always appreciate life and as long as we are here… Hope to see you all on Tuesday.

 

Freek

Lions beat Galacticos 15-0

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

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

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

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