As the season is coming to an end soon we were happy to play a friendly against Shanghai Scottish last Sunday ! The weather was very humid and hot and we had a nice mix of players ! The first twenty minutes we played well as Mike was keeping Carlton Palmer, the ex-national England player, busy while we had Adam and Masa flying on the wings. It was a great strike of Patrick after he was ordered to shoot by half the team that gave us a 1-0 lead. The Scotts played well and compact and were dangerous on the counter. They hit the cross bar and post but our stand in goalie the president himself was not impressed however they did equalize with a header. In the balance of the match we struggled to find solutions in the box but had most of the possession… credit to the Scotts who defended well and never gave up the fight. The hard work on our side was rewarded two minutes from the end when Azz set up our upcoming left back Conway who didn’t hesitate to put the ball in the net !
The weather was great and the pitch not bad ! The legends were up against Strosso a Japanese team with the typical Japanese style of playing which mean they never give up and keep running fast until the very last moment.
We had several key players missing for this match but with the return of Yohan (one of the old guard Lions / Les Bleus) we managed to bring a 12 men squad helped also by Julia, our upcoming talented youth players.
In the first 20 minutes we were up 2-0 goals by Nicolas and James. In the second 20 minutes Sam made it 3 and Mike celebrated his first goal ! Strosso came back with a goal and we also lost our keeper Clement, very unfortunate, as he twisted his ankle by himself ! Igor, our new player from Ukraine, took the position as keeper and Mike scored another one which he celebrated by taking off his shirt ! Strosso pulled one more back and in the last 20 it was Max “Schmeichel” making his debut as keeper. Our President give an assist to Mike to fulfill his dream as he scored a Hat-trick for the Legends and at the end another President assist found James he didn’t hesitate to score !
Overall a good match and the beer tasted good afterwards !
It was nice spring weather in Shanghai with 20 degrees ! We had a small squad this time with our captain Fred’s decision to hang his boots :(…. and it got even smaller when Sylvain‘s calf snapped after 10 minutes. We started well and tried to keep possession with good ball circulation. It was Matze‘s son, Victor, who opened the score for the Legends with a nice blast in the net ! We finally had a Mueller in our team who could score and were happy to see that Victor is a better player than his father ! Laid scored our second goal after a president’s corner with a good header.
England didn’t give up and got several corners but couldn’t convert them as well Clement, our goalie, had a few good saves to keep our sheet clean ! Laid scored a second header from a president’s corner but saw the goal being disallowed by the referee due to foul in the box from Nicolas.
The president showed some skill in the last 20 minutes when he did a “Dennis Bergkamp” turning around surprisingly England’s last defender to shot the ball with his outside foot just over the goalie from the edge of the box ! Amazing goal !!!
The weather was great and we had a big legends line up for the game against old rival the Emeralds ! In the first and second 20 minutes of the match we played our best football of the season. With a compact squad we kept the ball in our possession and made the Emerald players run a lot. We had some great build up plays and within 5 minutes James on a run from the right wing hit the cross bar. We took the lead by an awesome pass from Sylvain nicely finished by Romain who scored on his birthday !
It was a well deserved lead for us however in the second 20 minutes disaster struck as Emerald got a free kick at the right wing and when the player tried to cross it in it flew over our keeper in the net…..!
In the third 20 minutes we lost a bit of our composure and Emerald scored on a very fast counter it was their second shot on goal….!
For us all we could do now was fighting for every ball and try to get the luck on our side. After a few corners and two free kicks for us it was over and all we could do was drink our sorrows away with Ice Cold Beer.
Finally the pollution which hung over Shanghai for more than a week got cleared and we were playing in cold conditions but with a blue sky ! For the Legends it was their first match after the New Year holiday and always that match is not easy as most players gained a few kilos and dropped their fitness levels. For the Japanese players this was not the case as they looked sharp fit and well organized.
With our Captain Fred on goal for the first 20 minutes we tried to combine to keep the ball in our possession however the passing was poor end most of the time the ball ended up with a Japanese player. We got a free kick on a good position but we took it too fast as our defenders were still on the way forward. We gave the free kick to the Japanese who found themselves unmarked on top and they scored on a quick counter… Soon we failed to clear a long ball and Hirai, the Japanese striker, had no problem scoring the 2-0 from close range. 0-2 down just before half time we had to try to get back in the game and did it with a in the box strike from Nicolas B… It felt good !
We started the third 20 minutes motivated but within two minutes we gave the ball away and left the Japanese striker too much space and their 3-1 was the “so called” killer blow ! While trying to get a goal it was Japan again who scored typically from a corner for us on a very fast counter !
Well done and Well deserved victory for Japan. For us we need to get our fitness back and that starts at the training field on Tuesday !
Lions, it was strange weather last Sunday as despite being close to December it was a summer day with a blue sky and 25 degrees. We were up against the Emerald (last year champion) who could keep us away from winning our 3rd SPL Veteran title in 4 years ! For that, we had to lose 17-0 and Emerald brought Fafa (SPL senior goal scorer of last season in their team) aiming to make it happen…
We started very good as we managed to block the attacks with solid defense and good saves from Laurent our stand in goalie ! James in fine form for the last couple of games even got a chance to give us the lead after a great pass from Thomas. Jerome got a yellow after he ended up in a scrum with his opponent but he stayed composed and disciplined for the rest of the game.
In the next 20 we got more possession and Emerald was less threatening Bob hit the cross bar with a powerful strike !
In the third twenty minutes it was a bit harder as Emerald has physical strong players and the battle in the midfield was fierce however our defense was strong and covered most of the attacks and Masa-san our right back was on fire winning all the headers and defended like a rock.
In the last 20 minutes we thought we had won the game when Bob went all alone one on one to the Emerald keeper however at the end he slowed down and so did his shot… it was an easy pick up for the keeper ! With 10 minutes to go disaster struck as by a corner Francois was pushed to the ground making Fafa a free man to score with a header from nearby the goal. It was harsh on us as a draw would be a fair result. Instead Fafa too fast for our older defenders made it 2-0 for Emerald.
Despite the loss we had smiles on our faces as we were Champions ! It was a tight race this season as Japan had equal points but our goal difference was 14 goals better at the end and Emerald ended two points behind us !
The beer tasted good after the match ! Well done Legends and thank you Pascal for coming out to watch the match !
It was going to be a very hard game for the Legends against a super fit and fast Japan. Japan needed to win in order to have a chance to win the SPL Veteran Championship. For the Lions a win or a draw would be good ! We adjusted our tactics and played with 5 in the midfield and only Bob on top. Our aim was not to go 1-0 down early in the game and play our tactics as long as we could.
In the first 20 minutes it was hard as Japan fielded their best players but we stood up to the challenge. Clement had some fine saves and we ended it 0-0 according to our plan.
In the second 20 we got more opportunities and it was Laid with outside foot wonder strike giving us the lead ! Now it was easier for us as we had a cushion.
In the third 20 minutes we were the better side and unfortunately we lost Kevin due to an injury and we wish him a speedy recovery. However we needed some great saves from Clement again to keep us ahead.
In the last 20 we knew Japan would go all out to get the 2 goals they needed and they got one when a flew over the box rip on someone’s head and fall into our net ! Not much time left but it was still nerve wrecking. Our president who came in the last 5 minutes almost scored with a surprise lob but the keeper was alert ! The final whistle came as a relief for the Legends !
As we have one more match to go against the Emerald and only a 17-0 loss we keep us away from the title. Of course we will go for the win against them and have some nice beers after the match. Pascal our unfortunate injured keeper will come and watch the game to add to the celebration !
See you all next Sunday and of course Tuesday at the trainings !
It was a perfect day weather wise as the sky was blue and pollution was close to zero. We had a solid squad and were happy to have Clement to be stand in goalie after Pascal was so unfortunate to have snapped his Achilles the week before. Also it was good to see Thomas Gauthier back on the field after a long absence due to a knee operation !
Scotland started slow and we adjusted in the first 10 minutes to their game which was not our intention. However after we got awarded a penalty which Bob converted we started to play good football ! Bob scored his second and James, our birthday boy (46), scored a third. Of course 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes is a good result.
Scotland did cause us some problems as they managed a few times to get behind our defense but Clement made a good save and the Scottish didn’t finish the final ball on target. James scored a superb header after an excellent cross from Kevin. The Scots got one back which they deserved at the point of time and Kader who tried to shoot with his left foot and later with his right decided not to use his feet any longer scored with a nice header to make the final score 5-1 !
Time to celebrate and to have some beers with Max who came over after he completed the Shanghai Marathon in 4.28 in the morning !
Next Sunday we play Japan and we can clinch the tittle !
The standing after yesterdays games :
Lions 7 played 21 points + 42 goal difference
Japan 8 played 21 points + 26 goal difference
Emerald 8 played 18 points + 30 goal difference
Lets all come to the training and be ready for this weekend massive game against Japan!
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 !
Last Sunday it was what call real football weather ! Rainy and and a strong cold wind however it didn’t take away the importance of the Legend game versus our own youth team ! 14 Legends showed up and 18 Youth Players.
We played according to the SPL V format 4 x 20 minutes and in the first 20 minutes the youth showed their speed and hunger for goals however the Legends took a 2-0 lead. The youth got a goal back on a fast counter.
In the second 20 minutes the youth played their best football and the game was good entertainment for the parents who came out to watch ! goals on both ends from quick counters resulted in a 4-4 score line.
In the third twenty minutes the Legends took more and more possession and controlled the game but they failed to score.
In the last 20 minutes the youth tried their best but were running out of energy as the Legends kept passing the ball around and managed to score two goals to make the final score 6-4 !
Overall it was a very good experience for both the Legends and our Youth players we will surely organize a re-match in the near future !