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

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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 17 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 40 10 7
Placeholder Gwendall Volant 38 6 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

Lions beat Kickers 9-0 to set up a great final against the Marlins

beat KickersThe weather was not great but at least we got a pitch at the SCSC field as the Jinqiao field was not available. We had a large squad with a good mix of young and new players combined with experienced players as well we were happy to have Dim back in the goal ! Our mission was to beat Kickers but also work on our goal difference as we were trailing one goal on goal difference against the Marlins as both teams were on same points going into the match.

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 9 – 0 Shanghai Kickers FC

We took possession from the start and we got quick goal after an error of the Kickers goalie and a rare header of Shingi. It was a quick break on the left by Tevz his cross ended with Romain who didn’t hesitate to score. Just before half time we scored the 3-0 when Azz surprised the goalie by laying off a free kick to Shingi who didn’t hesitate.

In the second half we had fresh legs coming in and Conway upfront proved to be a hit as he scored a hat-trick ! Azz added one more and in the final moments Fabi got a penalty awarded and he saw his effort being stopped by the goalie however Andrei was alert to make the final score 9-0 ! Beer tasted good afterwards… However the Marlins, knowing our score and what was at stake, heavily beat Japan 9-1.

That means we are at equal points and equal goal difference however on goals scored they are ahead of us +3 as well on goal difference of the two matches we played each other +2. It means in the final match we need to beat them to be Champion ! Obvious we have two weeks to prepare ourselves and it start at the training this Tuesday !

 

Lets Go Lions ! Lets go for it !

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions improve their goal difference while beating MMFC

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 8 – 1 MMFC

goal differenceBeautiful weather and nice pitch for the last game of the regular season. We presented a squad with a few new players who attended our last few trainings. For this game, our motto was clearly to work on our goal difference to narrow the space with the Marlins.

We soon got the lead with an acceleration of Tevz on the left wing for Romain who controlled and score the 1st goal. Unfortunately, this goal did not deliver us as we were struggling keeping the ball and playing together. On the opposite, the MMFC were fighting on all the duels and pushing on the wings. They came back to 1-1 with a very nice shot. They continued to push and forced us to reorganize. Short before the half-time, Amor scored with the back on a corner kick for his “good-bye” goal. We reached the half time with the lead but had to react in the second half.

We came back on the pitch with better intentions. Azz first lobbed their keeper for the break (3-1) before giving the ball to Conway who won his first face-to-face for the 4th goal. Yohan, for his come-back with the seniors, placed a nice volley (5-1) before finishing a nice job from Azz. 6-1! Positioned on the left, Azz, again, delivered a center for Kad‘s head. Conway closed the score with his second goal of the day to finish the game with 8-1.

Now, we have 2 more games before the SPL closing tournament on June 10th, 2018

 

Let’s keep focused and keep our title!

 

Cheers
Thomas Z.

Lions are back in the game for the SPL championship

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 3 – 1 Shanghai Marlins FC

SPLThis Sunday sounded like a perfect day for this SPL tittle race football game… Earlier in the day our legends hammered Japanese Strosso but our keeper, that was supposed to double both games, twisted his ankle… With a strong squad in the middle and in defense, we decided to put Thomas Z in the goal with victory as the only possible outcome.

The game started with opportunities on both sides and we finally opened the score with a free kick from Romain following a foul from Marlin’s keeper on Tevz out of the box… We continued to push and got  opportunities but Marlins finally equalized with Pete Rosseli who took the ball in the box to dribbled our keeper for the to 1-1. Both teams were playing a good football, with a lot of impact in the duels. The Marlins were operating lots of turn-over but our experienced defense line with Fabi, Jack and Benji remained focused. We finally reached the half-time with a draw which was insufficient for us but remained confident as we were close to take the lead several times during the first half.

The second half started like the first one, with attacks from both sides. Our opponent pushed hard during the first 10 minutes but we stayed compact. Then they slowed down a little bit. That was the right time to have our young Lions in. After a few attempts, Shingi was pushed in the box and transformed his penalty kick. 2-1! A few minutes later, after a nice combination with Tevz on the left, Matty scored the 3rd goal.

A very important game where we played together, for each others, stayed focus and with a good spirit! A good reminder on how important it is to train and practice together! Our next game is this Sunday against the MMFC. Although we are co-leaders with the Marlins, we are still 2nd because of the goal average. We need to score goals on Sunday!

 

See you all at the training tomorrow.

 

Cheers
Thomas Z.

Kickers get kicked

Kickers FC

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 10 – 0 Kickers FC

It was the perfect weekend for the Lions Family as the youth had won their game on Saturday (6-2) and legends defeated England earlier in the morning (3-0) with our President as the MOM ! With a nice weather, we presented a big squad composed by seniors, youth but also legends to face Kickers FC in a beautiful crossover generations!

After a few minutes, Azz had his first face-to-face with the keeper for the 1-0. 5 minutes later, an acceleration of Romain on the left wing offered the 2nd goal to Thomas Z. Another run on the left wing, from Tevz this time, was finished by Romain for the 3-0. The break was done but we needed more goals! Azz and Thomas Z added another goal each and Azz to conclude the first half with a beautiful shot from out of the box. 6-0 at the half time.

A strong first half to be continued in second with other players to participate or start in SPL like Victor who scored 30 seconds after he came on the field. He added a 2nd goal a few minutes later with a nice shot, before centering for Azz for his 4th goal of the day! It is finally Benji who concluded with a beautiful lonely run.

10-0 to finish this nice weekend for the Lions! Lots of goals and a clean sheet! Next game on April 15th is against the Marlins. We have 3 weeks to get ready, physically and technically so please, attend the training!

 

Have all a nice week
Thomas Z.

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