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 !
Last Sunday was a great day for our club for many reasons ! The weather was incredible and the field was great and the setting we were playing in was super ! It was super nice to see so many parents coming out today to support the players for this 2018 GreenCity Cup!
Our second team did well especially against the stronger teams losing just on penalties vs. Stoke City for instance ! We were happy that they won their last match as it was a good way to end the day !
For our first team they wobbled a bit when they let Aksil come back from a winning position to make it 4-4 but after that we got our focus back and set ourselves up to a nice final against DEQ ! The final was a good promotion of youth football in Shanghai watched by many people and with great team work and stand in goalie Matthew B, we won it with a super second goal from Matty !
Well done Lions !!! Great achievement to win this 2018 Green City Cup ! ! Thanks to Nick who coached all our teams as well as Azzeddine was kind enough to be referee this time as the local referees were not available !
It 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 !
With 21 Youth Lions in action (two teams in the U17 category), we had a strong presence at the 2018 AKS Shanghai Cup last weekend. On Saturday each team had 5 consecutive matches of 20 minutes each. Our B team did well and had a few very close matches which could have ended either way. The A team was in fine form and with four wins and one 0-0 draw, they made it to the finals on Sunday.
On Sunday our B team played their best football in their last match against Stoke City where they were unlucky to concede a goal in the very last minute. However all players gained experience over the weekend and in the end had a fun experience. For the A team they needed to beat Stoke City in the semi finals. The match was very tight and both teams tried to play on counter. It was a smart free kick from Matty which gave the Lions the lead with just a few minutes left on the clock. With the 1-0 win they made it in the finals where they expected to play Aksil ReUnited but they were surprised by a strong German team from Hongqiao.
In the round robbing match against this German team we played 0-0 and knew that this team was strong. We played the final in a very disciplined manner with our first priority not to give anything away to the opponent and second to try and find a space to counter on the 7 aside pitch. Yusuke came very close to score the 1-0 and Victor created some danger as well. However it stayed 0-0 until the final whistle. Now our hope was on Max our stand in goalie who proved to be in great form over the two days. Phillip and Matty scored both their penalties and Max saved the second penalty of the Germans ! Victor up next did what he had to do and that was to score and give us his goal gave us the well deserved title.
Over the weekend we experienced great team spirit and good discipline by the Lions on and off the field. Good coaching helped the teams and last but not least we were happy to see parents come and support us !
Its important to our club to represent the Lions in tournaments ! Last Saturday it was the turn to the Lions Legends who participated in the “9th Shanghai Masters Cup” organized by Super 48 one of the large Japanese clubs in Shanghai. The tournament was 11 aside with a total of 12 teams and it was for players above 40 ! So it was great to see that we had a great squad of Lions Legends ready to play on such beautiful pitch and weather in Tianma! The games were 20 minutes only so we needed to have a good strategy in place to make it to the finals ! Our target was to keep a clean sheet all the way and score first !
In our first game against Super 48 we did just that as Fred our captain opened the score with a rare header and soon it was our President who blasted a very good build up from right to left and a step over up in the top of the net ! He thought he would get the oldest scorer award as he just celebrated his 54th b-day last week but saw the it clinched by a Japanese player of 58 years old ….. !!! guess our president needs to play another 4 years at least ! After our 2-0 victory we learned that the women who played against us was Mizuki Noguchi, the Japanese Gold medal winner of the marathon Athens 2004 winner ! amazing and of course we took the opportunity to take a picture with her and the legends !
In our second game we found it harder to score as the Japanese team defended with 10 players however our never give up attitude paid off as James blasted home the winner with only two minutes to go on the clock !
In our third game against the Shuzou Kickers we made some changes in the team and replacing Gwen on the left wing paid off as his replacement Sylvain scored in two minutes ! Fred made it 2-0 to get our third clean sheet and a victory !!
Due to a lucky draw we went straight to the semi finals against a strong Japanese team but we played our best game of the day ! Our right back Francois opened the score after 5 minutes when he went up unexpected and soon Gwen was launched one on one against the Japanese Keeper and didn’t miss….! 2-0 it was and 2-0 it stayed to set us up in the final !
The final was up against the Emerald our old rival who beat the strong Japanese team on penalties in the other semi final ! Tactics were the same clean sheet and score first… however they scored on an incredible counter two passes launched their striker who had an incredible shot flying in ! The Lions did fight back but struggled as the referee was very young and weak and didn’t dear to make decisions against the emeralds who made a couple of fouls on our play makers…
Time ran out we ended the tournament second with only one goal conceded and a lot of fun and friendship which of course is the most important ! Next time we will hope the luck is on our side and for sure we will try again !
Next up our senior team will play a tournament in Phuket this weekend and we wish them all the best !
Obvious we need all Lions the come the training this week so we can prepare for our important last games of 2017 !
Finally we were back in actions the Legends took part in the two day event the masters at NAIS Pudong !
Our start was not good as when we arrived for our first game we came to know that Scotland pulled out of the tournament two days earlier and the organizers didn’t inform us so we had to wait 2 hours for nothing before our first match. As it’s a 7 aside tournament and the games are short they key is not to concede as its hard and cost energy to fight back from 1-0 down.
At the team talk we all agreed to the game plan but with 5 minutes to go we found ourselves 1-0 down against Anzacs. Suddenly all 14 legends became coach in their own rights and we faced a chaotic 5 minutes however Nicolas equalized in the last minute !
In our second game we played well and composed we took a 2-0 lead against a Chinese team by Laid and James but the managed to get one back at the end 2-1 win.
In our last game we faced a team from Hong-Kong and took control of most of the game however with 5 minutes to go Francois ended up in a brawl with one of their players with the final result 3 steaches in Francois’s eyebrow and a red card for both players.
On Sunday with Matze and Terao-san in the team we looked fresh however the group we were in was the group of death as our first game was straight against the Shooters. We played our best game of the tournament and managed to keep the Shooters away from our goal. We had a few chances but the final pass or finish was lacking. It ended 0-0 but now we needed a result against Emerald 1 and again we played good we had opportunities and we didn’t give anything away to the opponent until the very last second of the match Emerald broke out on the flank and crossed in straight which they player volleyed behind Pascal ! This in the end was a deadly blow as despite wins against Krauts and Super 48 we were out of the semi- finals.
The tournament was won by Emerald who beat the Shooters 1-0 in the final. The beer tasted good afterwards and we wish Francois a speedy recovery !
Some of our Legends and Lions players escaped the rainy weather in Shanghai and took part in the International tournament in Bangkok this weekend. It was the first time we got a team together in Bangkok. The scene was set with a blue sky and 32 degrees we arrived with a good hang over on the excellent grass fields !
This 35th International Far East Football Tournament was also the opportunity to bound back with some of our Lions Abroad… To mention a few, Jerome Le Carrou, Andre Diame, Thomas Chataigner, Francois Mosnier & Thomas Gauthier. Big smiles & good old story sharing… Once a Lion, forever a Lion 🙂
Our first game was against a Dubai team and we got an easy 2-0 victory. However in the second game we got smashed by a local French team who in the end won the tournament we were down 2-0 after 5 minutes and lost 5-0. They showed us how to play 7 aside football ! In our last game on Saturday we were down 1-0 but our Thai guest player equalized to give us a 1-1 draw.
On Sunday all of our Thai guest players were not showing up we all have our theories what happened but actually it was a good thing for the team because with less players we started to fight harder and played more composed. We were up against a team from Borneo who were good especially in the heat but we defended very well. Nicolas had a counter opportunity but just missed it and they got lucky with one strike as we couldn’t clear the ball and the beat us 1-0. In the second game we played a German team who thought they could kick us out of the tournament but it ended 0-0 ! We converted all of our three penalties and in form goalie Pascal stopped the Germans last penalty.
This lead us to the plate cup final where we were up against a south African team. We gave it all to win the title and it was James who scored the opening goal soon followed by 2-0 by Laid ! At 2-0 we should have put the game to bed but instead we still were looking for the 3-0 ! It costed us the victory as we were exposed at the back and they a few very talented athletic players. It ended 2-2 and in the penalty shoot out we hit the cross bar and the cup went to South-Africa !
Overall we had a great experience and made a good impact in the tournament on and off the pitch ! We will be back next season hopefully with a full Legends squad !
ot high by now as we started to play good football up next was Ferie another Japanese team and finally Fred F scored which was important as beside Charley he was our target man. Surprise Surprise Gwenn scored his second and almost took of his shirt showing his tattoo’s but in front of the Japanese that was not so smart. We drew Emerald for the semi finals we played our best football of the day and created a few good opportunities but couldn’t score. It stayed 0-0 and we were going for the penalties / a few people were ordered not to take them …. But Fred F was first and scored right and Emerald missed their first Liad was next and scored left and Thierry made sure Charles couldn’t score as he was next in the line up and because of his stop Charles couldn’t take his penalty.
Back in the final against Japan FC who we beat last year on penalties. We pushed hard to get the 1-0 lead and managed to get several corners however we couldn’t score from those. The best player of the tournament Japan no 10 had other ideas on one of the rare counter attacks he decided to take a straight volley and the ball flew unstoppable in the top corner with 1 minute to go ! It was harsh as we didn’t concede any goal during the whole tournament but with such a beauty we accepted our faith ! The beers on the way back in the bus did taste good and we are already looking forwards to next year’s Masters !
Having won the Shanghai Masters over 40 tournament 3 times we knew how hard it would be to achieve the same again. A good start is essential in a 7 aside tournament but the Legends were for some reason not ready and not in the right form. They lost two games and that basically put them in the plate competition. They did win their first game against Beijing of the plate 2-0 on Saturday and on Sunday a started to look a bit brighter. A last minute header from Laid gave us another win over Super 48 and our next opponent was Hangzhou who beat us on Saturday it was a good battle with both teams trying hard to score. It was a unfortunate handball of Dan that gave Hangzhou a penalty and the only goal. Up next it was a must win for us and that’s what we did 5-0 win versus the Vikings tasted good. Our last plate game was against the Bangkok team and again we scored plenty of goals as we won 5-2. We made it to the plate final and actually were happy to play the final despite our heavy legs we were up against Hangzhou again…… the third time and we were determined not to lose again. It was a hard battle with left and right some fouls from both teams this time the Legends got lucky after a handball from the Hangzhou defender and Fred converted the penalty. We were very close to win the final but in the last minute conceded a foul at the edge of the box and somehow the Hangzhou player found a hole in our wall and equalized. It ended with a penalty shoot out which was good for the spectators of course but not for us as our third penalty was stopped by the Hangzhou keeper.
Overall we had a bad Saturday and a good Sunday so mixed feelings ! The Shooters won the tournament in the end on penalties and our congratulations goes to them ! We will try harder next year to get the Cup back !