On Saturday we were up against Reunited the current leader of the SIFL. As they are a good playing side dangerous on the counter attacks. We decided to try a 4-5 -1 formation and our key objective was to score first. Allthough it was a new system for the Lions it worked very well as we closed down the midfield and the Reunited were struggling to find their free players as each and every time there was Lion in their way ! Romain our sole striker still had enough power to pose a threat to their defense and in the 15thminute the Lions got what they wanted by a fine finish of Romain. In the second half the Lions dominated the game and Mathieu was unlucky to see his header hit the cross bar after a fine Benji / Allan combination. Reunited started to play more aggressive going forward. It was on one of those counter attacks that the found hole in the Lions defense and they equalized with 15 minutes to go. The Lions still had a few good opportunities to take all three points especially Allan came very close to score but you need a bit of luck sometimes to make the difference. Overall we were pleased with our display on the field and we will try to play better and better each week. If we win the upcoming game against the Dutch on 26th of November we will be back on top !
On Sunday we faced the Cowboys a very good Chinese side who have been playing together their whole live since they went to the same university. For the Lions we are in a transition phase where we try to cover up the holes of a few key players who left us over the summer as they went back home. The first half performance was good and we match the same level as the Cowboys. We even took the lead by a goal of Patrick of course this was also the wake up goal for the Cowboys who can be deadly on their counter attacks. It was one of those that they equalized 1-1. The second half we couldn’t match the same level as in the first half partly because of fitness and as well Patrick needed to drop back as we had no other defender available. We lost too many short passes and got punished by a quick strike of Zhuang top scorer of the SPL to make it 2-1. The breaking point of the game was a clear handball in the box after a Cesar striker. The Chinese referee saw it and pointed it to be a penalty only to find out that he put the ball on the line of the box for a free kick ! Simon shot went just wide. When Zhuang ran free 5 minutes later it was our goalie Dan who tripped him and prevent him from scoring but of course he got a red card for this and with 10 men for the last 15 minutes it was a very difficult task for the Lions.
Our spirit was good in both games and we need to take the positives from the games each week. The more and better we train we will get the results we want.
This coming Wednesday we invited a Chinese Team to play against us on our training pitch. All Lions are welcome including the veterans. It is good to have a practice game to build confidence and strength !
This upcomning weekend we have the Lions taking part in the Phuket tournament and we wish them all the success !