The venue was changed in the last moment but the weather was perfect sunny and hot. Dave had a surprise birthday party the night before and it left some wounds with some players. The first half the Lions played well and controlled the game whereas the Flamenkos played on the counter with only one stiker. The problem for the Lions was that they didn’t finish the opportunities and Flamenkos kept being dangerous on the counter. Garret who played well in the last man position had to cover up a few times for players not coming back on time…….! A long range Flamenkos missile ended in the top corner just before half time. In the second half the Lions lost most of their good play but started to fight instead it was a great thru ball of Patrick which launched youngster Rick one on one with the last defender and got a penalty rewarded when he was pushed to the ground. Charles had no problem to score the penalty and he even scored a second after the Flamenkos failed to clear the ball in defense. He should have scored a hat-trick but instead the Flamenkos managed to score the equalizer after a corner. At the end of the game the Lions were tired and had to settle for a draw this time.
We played the Azzuri for the fourth time this season ! These battles are always good for the spectators as both teams trying to play good football. Our focus was on our defense first and to play on counter attacks and actually the Azzuri had the same tactics. No wonder the game started even with both teams trying to control the midfield. It was a sudden great powerful strike by Adam which gave the Azzuri the lead. It was enough for the Lions to pick up the pace and we started to dominate the game. We got a penalty awarded by the referee who was wearing an Azzuri outfit for the occasion but Azzedine failed to score this time. At half time we knew we had 45 minutes left to turn it around and the way we played we had confidence to do it. It was a super pass from Charles which found an on the run Allan who controlled the ball beautifully and he finished it cool in front of the keeper to make it 1-1. All the azzuri could do now was to defend as since Adam’s goal they didn’t have had another shot on target. A great corner by Benji found the head of Fabie and he scored to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. We created a couple of more chances but didn’t have the luck in the finishing parts. On the other side the referee give a free kick for absolutely nothing to the Azzuri and the Lions couldn’t deal with the long ball in from Adam. In the scramble the azzuri scored the equalizer 2-2. With only a few minutes left we couldn’t turn it around. Overall we felt bad about the result as we dominated the game and got several scoring opportunities during the game but what stood out was our discipline during the 90 minutes ignoring the poor referee and some dangerous tackles from the Azzuri. We focused for the full 90 minutes on the game and kept playing football.
We are still 3 points clear on top and we will play Japan at 900 AM this coming Saturday with 6 games to go !
It was cold and windy but luckily the rain of the night before had stopped ! The legends had several key players missing mostly due to injury ! One minute before kick off against Japan we had barely 11 players but luckily Dan our goalie arrived in the last minute. For Japan it was their first game as a veteran team and they had a strong side out as there was no SPL game for them. They started strong and set the pace for the game at a high level. With our regular striker Fred missing it was not easy to keep the ball upfront in the first half it stayed at 0-0 with not many opportunities for both teams. An unlucky handball from Sylvain gave a penalty to Japan and they send Dan into the wrong corner to make it 1-0. After some strong talks at half time the Lions pushed forward and started to pressure the Japanese defense. It was from a corner that Gwenn scored the equalizer. Now it was game on and Jamie made his comeback in the squad and he almost scored. Our reward for our hard work and fighting spirit came from a fast counter crossed in by Bob and finished out of all people by Simon who usually never scores !
Great win and a great performance by Olivia our 17 year old left back who made some amazing runs !
Lions versus Marlins can be considered as “El Classico of Green City ! These game are joy to play and a joy to watch. You will see two teams fighting for the win until the very end ! This season we are having a hard time in the SPL partly due to the fact that we miss a striker after Joel and Dave left who is good for 15-20 goals in a season. Dave being our SPL top scorer with 4 goals sums up our issue. In the first half we saw an even game with both teams trying to take control of the midfield. We got several corners and with two minutes to go in the first half we scored from a corner when Dave headed the ball back on the foot of Fabie who didn’t hesitate to score ! In the second half the Marlins needed to push forward and we had to defend more and more. However the strike of Marlins striker Zhu was unstoppable 1-1. It seemed like a fair result but when a 40 meter out left foot strike of Alex ended in the top corner as well it seemed to be harsh for the Lions. We did get a goal back after a free kick of Simon into the box ended on Patrick feet only to see the goal being disallowed for off side which was highly disputable. All though we didn’t get any points out of this game we start to play better and better and we will start to collect points in the games ahead of us for sure !
It was a weekend with big games ! The weather was still good and actually it was hot to play with 28 degrees on Sunday !
We as well received our new lions kit and all players were happy with the new out fit, well done Simon for organizing this !
On Saturday we were up against our old rival the Shooters this game we can consider as “El Classico” of Shanghai due to the history of both teams. Before the game the strategy was explained by the coach and we were set for the clash. For some reason the Lions started nervous most likely due to lack of two experienced defenders. A trade mark shooters move by Mcgoo on the left wing gave them an early lead as his cross landed on the head of Zippy and dropped in our goal.
It was a wake up call and the Lions started to push forward. Azz came close as he saw is effort hit the woodwork however he got hit on his foot and unfortunately for him and the Lions he couldn’t play on. The Lions equalized by scramble goal with a final touch of Allan. Shooters had a few dangerous corners before half time but the Lions got away with it. The second half saw a different game with the Lions dictating the play and fighting for every ball. The Shooters were pushed back and hardly made it over the middle line ! Where the Lions tried to play football they were stopped by hard physical play from the Shooters. In the end the best opportunity was for Thomas who already passed Chris the Shooters goalie only to see his shot cleared on the line by a Shooters defender.
It stayed 1-1 and our players felt this as a loss but the fighting spirit in the second half was great and we are looking forward to our next game on Saturday !
On Sunday we played ERS who have a strong team this season. They have very fast forwards and a solid defense. The lions welcomed a new goalie who came over from Sino Ball in Hangzhou and played in the new white kit ! ERS scored first
on a counter attack. Lions got a lucky goal back and went into half time 1-1. While pushing forward and looking for the winner the lions were exposed at the defense and couldn’t deal with the superfast counter attacks. In the end the Lions were not playing well on all fronts / attack/midfield/defense. It was a deserved loss of 4-1.
We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but with the help of the training session of Azz and Simon we are confidence that we can get back on track !
We always talk about making the most out of our stay in Shanghai and leaving a footprint behind. It’s time to open up about our historic unbeaten record run in the SPL we have always kept it among ourselves but finally it came to an end ! It all started on December 9 2012 where we lost against the Marlins everybody was down because we felt the win was ours but some arbitral decision were turning the game around. The rule says that you win as a team and lose as team so we ended up drinking beers in Latina and the players right there will remember exactly what we discussed. “If we win all our other games in the rest of the season we will be Champions” ! That’s what happened and last season the longest season in SPL history with 12 teams we didn’t lose a single game !
The official record is 33 SPL League games unbeaten in row !!! 30 wins and 3 draws !! Finally we can say that we are proud of this record and it’s time to thank all the Lions who have contributed to this incredible run ! Yes we should be proud and the biggest success factor has been our team spirit ! Week after week we were fighting for each other on the pitch and having beers after the games off the pitch !
It ended in the right way with a big loss versus Shanghai 2000 7-4. A well deserved win for them they are a very good promising side. All this will make the SPL more interesting this season with many improved teams.
After the game the hard core Lions ended up at Latina where it all began in 2012 and had a few beers and talked about the great memories but also talked about the new Lions 15/16 years old ready to play in the SPL. We are looking forward and want to make them better players than us so that they can set a new record later !
Records are there to be broken but this one we will try and keep for the Lions for a long time !
We are delighted to announce that we are now very successfully coaching over 100 kids, both Chinese and Expats in Shanghai, in various locations, such as Ambassy Court Residence on 1500 Huaihai Lu, everyday of the week from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, as well in as in Tangzhen Pudong and his several other locations.
For more information, please contact us at: email@example.com or at: 13601741461