Legends stay unbeaten in the SPL Veteran

unbeatenIt was a beautiful day thanks to the Import Expo which kept most of the factories closed for the week! Awesome blue sky with 22 degrees for a mid-November… Let’s call it global warming! For this game, we were up against the Welsh Bellies. Although we saw a couple of new players in their squad, our goal was to stay unbeaten in the SPL Veteran league. As always, the plan was to get the game in our control right from the start!

[ SPL VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 3-0 Welsh Bellies

In the first quarter, we did just that and kept possession of the ball whereas the Welsh tried to defend us with only one player on top! It was a superb build-up and a great strike by Kevin from outside the box which left the Welsh goalie helpless to stop the ball! Good start for the Legends!

In the second quarter, we kept our discipline and composure. On a corner from Tomas, Laid headed the ball for a  2-0 up. Although our opponent was not very dangerous, we knew we needed one more goal to seal the victory and of course, we were aiming for the clean sheet!

It was the last minute of the third quarter when Tomas tried his luck from a distance but the goalie stopped his effort however he couldn’t hold the ball and Masa-san was there to finish it off!

The last 20 with a 3-0 lead was not very exciting… After the final whistle, we were happy about staying unbeaten! The whole team stayed disciplined throughout the match and didn’t give away anything to the Welsh!

 

So far so good for the Legends! We will be back in action in two weeks!

 

Cheers
Freek

President scores hat trick while Legends beat Strosso

hat trickWhat a beautiful day it was no pollution due to the import expo Shanghai government ordered to close down all factories this week! 22 degrees and a blue sky it cannot get any better than this on November 3rd! We had a couple of latecomers for various reason so we started with the players who showed up early! It included the Freek who usually plays the last part of the match! Target was a clean sheet and goals to catch up with Emeralds’ goal difference.

[ SPL VETERAN ]  Shanghai Lions FC 10-0 FC Strosso

In the first quarter, we could play very high up the field and pressure Strosso all the time. It was a mistake by their keeper who gifted the ball to Bob after Freek ran into him and Bob scored easily in the open goal! We kept the pressure high and we had a great combination on the right which opened up Sylvain who crossed in and the ball was finished well by Freek with his left foot right against the inner post for the 2-0.

In the second quarter, we pushed for more goals and got early rewards by good play from our wingers and Bob adding to his tally. We got a few dubious offside calls but managed to end 5-0.

In the third period, we didn’t start well as some of us started to take it easy and played more for fun and missing lots of opportunities… Luckily players like Tomas showed us the way with a fine finish as his strike left no chance to the keeper. 8-0 was the score at the end of the third quarter.

In the last quarter, we tried to overtake Emerald 11-1 score but we show some good opportunities getting waisted… It was a surprise outside right foot shot from Freek which gave us 9-0 and the icing of the cake was a great cross of Big John finding the head of Freek who came in front of his opponent to seal the final score 10-0 and it made him score a hat trick right after his 56th birthday!

 

Afterward, we said farewell to Imad who announced he will move to Singapore and will be a father in 4 months of a newborn Lion! We wish him and his family all the best in the future! The beers at 711 tasted good after the match and the next game will be against Welsh Bellies. Well done Legends!

 

Cheers
Freek

Another clean sheet for the legends

clean sheetIt was a bit of a cloudy day with Super 48 as the opponent. As the president was on kids’ duty, therefore his assistants were in charge. As always, the objective of the day was to end-up the game with a clean sheet.

[ SPL Veteran ] Shanghai Lions FC 6-0 FC Shanghai Super 48

We started the first quarter organized in 3-5-2… An unusual formation that resulted in some tactic adjustments from our players… Therefore, the rhythm was not very high but we got a penalty just before the break following a handball on the surface. A straight penalty converted by captain Bob for the 1-0.

In the 2nd quarter, we started with the same squad with a little 3-4-3 adjustments in the organization. This change didn’t prove to be effective with probably the worst quarter of the game for our legends… We were playing in “grapes”, forgot to play wide when we could and lost many balls. Luckily, our legends added one more in their basket with an own goal following a cross for the 2-0.

In the third quarter, we made a few changes in the squad with Mamdouh & FL coming in. We start playing simpler, faster and wider. Imad came trough the left midfield beating few players, passed the ball to Bob again for the 3:0. Another chance came from a cross on the right from Bob and Tomas was at the reception for the 4:0.

In the last quarter, Chris slightly injured had to come off and Adrian, a new player invited by Nikko, came back in and played well. We added two more goals… arguably the best two goals of the day. Imad sent a ball above the defender on the left and Bob was at the reception and manage to Lob the keeper from outside the box. The last one was a beautiful cross from Tomas on the right and Bob again with a volley send it right in the back of the net.

A great 6-0 victory with our clean sheet mission completed on the day.

Cheers
The president’s assistant 😉

Legends break the bank at the 11th Shanghai Masters Cup

break the bankIt was a beautiful day and a beautiful set-up organized by Super 48 at the 11th Shanghai Masters Cup. It’s a special tournament for the Lions as we were the only foreign team out of a total of 12. Being invited year after year is something important for the club as it also has to do with mutual respect we show each other… That’s important in today’s world! As the winner of the previous edition, our ambition was to break the bank again. As the president mentioned earlier in the week, the key today was FL to be on time. To set the example, he arrived 30 minutes before kick-off which never happened before!

The first game we focused on defense first as in a tournament you want to win the first game so clean sheet was demanded and because of the game time of 20 minutes for 11 aside rather short we made it clear we needed to score first! We did well in the first game Laid claimed two goals but because of Mike’s bigfoot size, he claimed one of the goals. 3-0 win goals with Mike, Bob & Laid. To be fair to Laid his goal was a beauty esp after the team build-up!

In our second match, we played the Suzhou kickers. Same game plan clean sheet and Stephan scored the winner with no attacks on our goal!

Last group stage we were up against Super 48 the host and we didn’t create a lot of changes as we knew we will go to the quarter-finals anyway. However, a super build-up play found Nicolas, our team pastry chef free on the left for Nico who blasted the ball in the top corner!

We were free from the quarter-final and straight in the semi because of the result in the first round!

We played the semi as a final and were up against Japan FC main team who beat us in the past! our composure and discipline won us the final spot as a free-kick of Laid landed in the box. Bob, after a great control, kicked us into the final with only 30 seconds left to play!

In the final, we were up against the best opponent of the day but we stuck to the game plan… clean-sheet and one goal to win it! We dominated the final but Ben needed to make one save as we didn’t defend back and got rewarded of our team effort when a free-kick of Andrei ended in the goal after Bob created havoc and the ball ended in the net by an own goal!

Another great performance from our legends who managed to break the bank once more… It’s all about commitment, positive mood, and team spirit! Like this, you can do wonders and it doesn’t make a difference no matter how old you are!

 

Well done Legends! Keep going! Never give up! It’s life!

 

Thank you
Happy Freek

Legends start the new veteran season with a win

For this 1st game of season 2019/2020 vs. Shanghai Bulls in SPL Veteran league, we knew it will be a hard game. Only a good focus could give us the result we wanted… Sometimes discipline is the only way to gather the 3 points.

On the novelty/technology side, the other big piece of news is that the SPL league has formalized a partnership with the Shanghai Football Association (SFA):

  • A strong signal of the recognization of Shanghai Premier League into the Shanghai amateur football picture
  • More visibility for the league but most importantly accesses to the official tools developed by SFA such as live broadcast !!! This modern tool can be accessed directly on your phone via Wechat or directly from your browser computer

[ SPL VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 1-0 Shanghai Bulls

VeteranIn the first quarter, we played well but the Bulls also came into our box on a few corners occasions which kept being a threat. We took the lead by a free-kick from Nico on the left which passed the goalie and landed on the head of Bull opponent No. 16 who scored nicely! Bob later claimed the goal but his request was denied after seeing the video assistant referee (VAR).

In the second quarter, we played better and controlled the possession better waiting for a counter-attack. We got just one or two but got the control of the midfield back.

In the third quarter, we felt in the trap of complaining about the referee… As a matter of fact, we lost focus although we got several chances to put the game to bed.

In the last quarter, we managed to play keep our clean-sheet with 1-0 as the final score.

 

Overall it was a hard game and we kept our composure despite the Bulls making sometimes hard challenges! Good team performance and a good start of this new veteran season!

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends beat Shanghai Bulls in pre-season friendly match

shanghai bullsIt was a very hot Sunday 30 with degrees and no wind! We were facing the Shanghai Bulls, a new french veteran team in our pre-season opening match.

In the first 20 minutes, we played our best football with good pressure and fast combinations. We let the Bulls ran after the ball and tried to keep the possession. A great cross from Nico on the left found Bob at the far post and he headed the ball in the right corner to give us a 1-0 lead.

In the next 20 minutes, we dropped the speed and level partly due to the heat… The Bulls who didn’t have many shots on target yet equalized by a deflected strike!

In the third 20 minutes, we got our best chances to bring the match to bed… James came close with a flying header and Tomas went one on one with the keeper. It was Nico (in good form in this match) who gave the lead back to us with a fine strike.

In the last 20 minutes, there was plenty of space as players were getting tired running up and down the pitch. The icing on the cake was a great run by Imad who found Rick who finished calmly to make the final score 3-1 for the Legends against Shanghai Bulls.

 

The beers after the match tasted good. On the 22nd of September 2019, we will play our first league match of the season 2019/2020.

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends pick their SPL V trophy at the end season tournament

end season tournamentDespite the hot weather (32 degrees),  we had a great setting on the grass field of Jinqiao with 17 teams participating in the SPL & SPL V end season tournament ! After a busy month of May with 4 consecutive games in a row, it was finally time to relax. With a small squad, our target was still to win this 7 aside end season tournament. Alex helped out as keeper and Max made his comeback after his ruptured his achilles last year.

First match was a good warming up with a win but we blew it in the second match as England scored on its only and single opportunity… While we pushed forward for the equilazer, the ball didn’t want to get in and we lost 0-1. Despite we won 2-1 the last game of the group stage, England ended top of the group and later won the tournament !

All was fine as the ice cold beer tasted extremely well after the matches and we were ready for the price ceremony ! The last cup of the day was for our legends with the SPL V championship cup ! We took a lot of nice pictures with our families/friends and ended up at Pistolera for more drinks & margaritas ! Great way to end a Great Season !

 

Cheers
Happy Freek

Legends close the season championship with a win

season championshipLast Sunday was the last game of the season and we wanted to end the season championship with a win ! The heat was not helping us as the Japanese got a good squad (especially in defense) and we knew they could run for hours.

[ SPL VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 1 – 0 Japan FC

We started very well in the first 10 mn passing the ball around quickly and making the Japanese players to run after it ! However our finishes were not surgical enough and all our balls ended up in the Japanese goalie hands. Soon we started looking for difficult options and lost our pace. Japan was sitting back and waited for a counter chance. Our golden moment came when Japan attacked and we quickly countered and put Bob free on the keeper able to choose either side of him but he choose the keeper whom deflected the ball on Fred who hit the post.

In the 2nd quarter, our focus was to score from set pieces (especially corners) where we have massive potential at the second post with Laid, Fabi, Francois & James but we missed to get the balls to them… Spirit was going down, heads were going down and Japan got the best chance to take the lead with a perfect cross flying over Laid but Yamada missed the ball for a few missing hair ! 0-0 at half time so more angry faces…

In the third 20 mn we struggled as we lost our passing game completely and Japan played more forward and got very close to scoring but twice Masa-san cleared from the goal line after Ben was already passed !

In the last 20 mn we made it clear its the last 20 minutes of the season and we need to win this match and we played 3 in the back with Fabi, Laid, Masand and putted 4 players upfront. We got several opportunities and the relief came from a perfect corner (finally…) to set up Laid and or James for the final header and James just did that ! In the end the victory felt good especially the cleansheet.

 

Well done Legends and now lets celebrate the season championship and party next Sunday for the end of season tournament & ceremony.

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends clinch the SPL Veteran title with a 7-1 win over Scotland

SPL Veteran titleWe all knew before the game that a win will help us secure our 2nd SPL Veteran title in a row ! In the meantime, it was also clear that Scotland would not be easy and would use any kind of tactics according to what they see as rigth or wrong ! We started with a solid defense where Sylvain took the role of “new daddy” James on the right with Laid & Rommie in the center. As we couldn’t find anybody as left defender we had no choice to put Gwen there.

[ SPL VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 7 – 1 Shanghai Scottish

Our 1st goal was great with a good run of Imad and easy finish from Mamdouh. In the 2nd 20 minutes we kept passing the ball aournd and it worked as the Scottish were running after the ball and ovious were losing energy along the way. With Kevin & Terao in the midfield it was only getting worse for Scotland… Imad scored the 2nd & Bob converted a penalty for the 3rd goal.

In the 3rd 20 minutes, Fred came on with his reborn knees & yellow socks… He scored the 4-0 with a super slow shot hardly seen on the fields nowadays but he has his own theory about his brilliant strike. He soon scored one more but it was ruled off-side. Scotland started to implode running out of battery and Fred got his second after a simple assist from Bob. We kept our firework for the last with Nico as right back coming forward and blast his shot in the roof of the net and the icing on the cake came from Tomas with great shot over the keeper. Champagne was ready and we did give a consolation goal to the Scotts as they kept trying very hard to score despite the score line !

With this win, the SPL Veteran title is ours with one match to go as Emerald are now too far behind ! It was a great result with 10 wins and only 1 loss ! Its a great achievement to be able to have a motivated team each time. Our strong point for this season 2018/2019 has been our consistency on the pitch… Always try being in control of the match and focus from the back to the front !

 

Thank you Pascal for helping out a few times and lets enjoy our last match next Sunday. The end of the season tournament is in 2 weeks. Let’s all come and get our trophy !

 

Well done Legends !
Freek

Legends take “le bouillon” vs. Emerald

bouillonLast Sunday, our legends took the “bouillon” in the derby vs. old rival Emerald. By the activity on Wechat, we could see earlier in the week that both teams were very motivated with this game. While our legends managed bringing-in a good looking team of 15 players, Emeralds were even more with 20+ players. As a starting line, we had Pascal in the goal; FL, Fabi, Matze & James in defense; Imad, Sylvain & Kevin in the middle & Nico, Fred & Mamdouh upfront. As for the squad formation we were in 4-3-3 and Emeralds in 4-2-2.

[ SPL VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 0 – 5 Emerald

In the first few minutes of the 1st quarter, well this was hell for our legends with Emerads putting a huge pressure on Lions defense/midfield. As a matter of fact, Emerald was more playing in 4-1-3-2 with 2 arrows on the flank (Fafa and another young running man). These 2 guys were acting as piston with their No 10 feeding them with good balls… While Emerald was putting intensity and accuracy, we on the other side were struggling both to keep or pass the ball.

On a long ball from Emerald, 2 opponents went for the ball and served Emerald stricker (3m offside) who came to finish Pascal on a 1 on 1. Good call from the referee… it was indeed the Lion player who touched/gave the ball. Few minutes later, Emeralds scored another beautiful header from their No 10 on a corner. On the last 5 minutes, Lions started to play better and even the game. 2-0 for Emeralds on the 1st quarter.

On the 2nd quarter, we decided to re-organize a little bit and played with 3 defenders. Immediately, it got better and we got 2 occasions to score with Bob. A pity for us as it ended as the only and last opportunity coming back into the game…

The 3rd quarter started on a lower intensity. While both teams were kind of neutralizing each other, Emeralds got a freekick 30m from our goal. Surprisingly, it was Emerald’s goalkeeper who came to try his luck. While we were already saying that it was a chance to score in counter, the keeper deflected an amazing shoot who went straight in the skylight of Lions’ goal… Not much to do on that and really beautiful goal !!! Afterwards, we learnt that Emerlad’s player is the goalkeeper’s trainer of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C. 3-0 down at the end of the 3rd quarter.

In the 4th quarter, our heads went down. Indeed, we lost the steam, composure and organisation pushing forward and got punished with 2 more goals … To complicate things further, Pascal got hurt on his shin but Bob came as subsitute with style… 3 amazing saves to preserve what could still be preserved.

 

Le “bouillon” for our legends with 0-5 as final score. Let’s be honest, Emerals were better than us in all aspects… Fitter, faster, stronger,  younger with their 2 wingers… Now, let’s keep in mind that we still have everything in our hands to be champion. With the 3 more games to come, if we win 2 we’ll be champion.

 

Cheers
FL

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