Legends pick their SPL V trophy at the end season tournament

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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

Youth team had a great end of season event during dragon boat festival

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dragon boat festivalWe took advantage of the dragon boat festival and the good weather at the same time. We got a great location at the Donjiao state guest house where we booked to BBQ pitch next to a small soccer field ! We got great catering from Yasmin’s Steak House and plenty of ice-cold drinks. Almost every player made it and we were pleased to have many parents showing up as well ! The evening ended with an Oscar type nomination where the envelopes of each category were opened by the parents.

  • Best Goalkeeper Noel
  • Best Defender George
  • Best Midfielder Julia
  • Best Attacker Gordon
  • Top Scorer Matty
  • Most Assist Jason
  • Most Improved Paul
  • Most Unlucky David
  • Best Hair Cut Matthew

The Icing on the cake was our U18 Championship Trophy which was celebrated with everybody !

 

Great end of a great season ! We hope to see you all back after the summer break !

 

Cheers
Freek, Nick & Azz

U15 DEQ match cancelled but we had great match among ourselves

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Shanghai International SchoolOur U15 match got cancelled due to a meazle outbreak at some Shanghai International School but the weather was too nice not to play… Then, we came up with the ideas to invite the parents to play. It was an entertaining match with plenty of goals & misses. Everyone played really well including the parents 😉

We will surely organize this again next season !

Cheers
Freek

Legends close the season championship with a win

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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

Lions U18 clinch the SPL Championship title

SPL ChampionshipCongratulations to our U18 for winning the SPL Championship for 2 consecutive years in a row. We have been the most consistent team in the league.

  • Always committed to train & always willing to play.
  • Several academies cancelled some games in the very last moment… we didn’t cancel any single one !
  • The key is that we are not an academy but a club of passionate players, parents and coaches and we create a platform of opportunities for players to improve themselves week after week.
  • We got several U18 players having trained and played league matcthes with the senior team and Noel one of our most committed players being goalie for U15 / U18 and the Seniors !
  • The best example was todays match against Wiss Stoke City where we actually had five U15 players playing in the U18 team today ! This is what makes the difference and will help each player to improve himself and step up to go to the next level.

 

[ SPL U18 ] Shanghai Lions FC 4 – 1 WISS Stoke City FC Academy

We wanted a win against Stoke to secure the SPL Championship. It started well as within 2 mn Yuxuan scored his 1st league goal for U18 after a corner the ball was not cleared well by Stoke and he was alert to tip it in ! The 2nd goal came after Stoke didn’t react following a cross bar free-kick from Philipp… Jason gave a great assist to Matty to make it 2-0. Matty was brought down in the penalty box & our captain Julia stepped up and didn’t hesitate to put the ball in the right top corner !

It was 3-0 at half time and in the second half we wanted to go for the clean sheet and give chances to our younger players to come in ! Matty made it 4-0 but Stoke was better in the second half and created several chances but Noel was alert and saved us a couple of times. Stoke did get a penalty but saw it saved by Noel in the left corner however the referee saw a player in the box and asked for a re take and Noel almost got it in the right corner but the ball went in via the post.

 

After the game we took a great team picture with players, parents & also talked about our end of the season party in 2 weeks time.

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions crash out of Chen Yi Cup

crash outThe Lions crash out of the second round of Chen Yi Cup conceding the winner in the last minute of the game.

[ Chen Yi Cup ] Shanghai Lions FC 2 – 3 Athletic United

It was an early kick off on a rainy day but all players made it on time with the help of Didi ! The field was slippery due to the rain and not easy to play on. In the first 15 minutes we kept most of the possession and our Chinese opponent decided to sit back. We got a wake up call when a simple pass went straight to the opponent and we got 3 defenders out of position and faced a 3 vs 1 situation which they finished easy to make it 0-1. Soon we found ourselves in more trouble as we let them shoot on the wet pitch and the ball slipped under Robin our goalie. We got plenty of free kicks and corners to come back in the match but waisted them all…

During half time we took the chance to point out the weak points and knew we had 35 minutes left to come back in the match ! Amavi was brought down right at the edge of the penalty box and Pat (our sweeper) came up to blast the ball in the left side of the goal. Thing started to look better for us especially when the Chinese team got a player send off after a challenge on Benji and a bad word to the referee. With three minutes on the clock to play we got a free kick on the right and Yohan curled the ball towards Fabi and Pat… It was Pat who scored the equalizer with a good header 2-2 ! We smelled blood and went for a third goal however we got a reality check again when we gave away a totally unnecessary free kick on the left side of the box in the last minute. Their best player, the No. 9 was surely not going to cross that ball but shoot it… He did it and blasted the ball in the top of the net ! It was a real pity as all the goals we conceded we gave them away by our mistakes and we could easily have made it to the third round of the Chen Yi Cup.

 

We will try to do better next year !

 

Cheers
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

U18 beat Wiss Stoke City 6-1

Stoke CityFor this important game, we barely had 11 players against Stoke City but were lucky getting Gordon to help out. With the heat close to 30 degrees and no subs to start we knew that we’ll have to play smart and let Stoke City players run behind the ball… At least, that was the plan !

[ SPL U18 ] Shanghai Lions FC 6 – 1 WISS Stoke City FC Academy

Philipp tried out the goalie from long distance and it worked as he could score twice from far. We should have gotten two penalties with one on Matty and the other one after a bad tackle on Victor… Unfortunately, he got injured on this foul and couldn’t continue. As a revange, Gordon who barely got into the field for Victor, scored a great strike. However we let Stoke come back into the match with poor defending.

At half time we reminded our youth that Stoke had only 11 players as well… Then, it was all about looking to create the circumstances to score more goals ! The Stoke keeper made some very good saves while we were creating some very good combinations and opportunities. Finaly, the killer came from counters with goals from Matty & Gordon. Much better second half and we were also happy that many parents came to support and withness the 6-1 final score !

 

Well done Lions and we see you on Wednesday on the training !

 

Cheers
Freek, Azz & Nick

U15 beat Shanghai Japan FC 3-0

Last Saturday, our U15 squad was smaller than usual to face Shanghai Japan FC after a few last minute dropped out… However, the team spirit was there with Jason coming to play despite an injury. Also, a few U18 (Noel, Daniel & Gordon) came to make the number.

[ SPL U15 ] Shanghai Lions FC 3 – 0 Japan FC

The key components for the match was to stay focused on the back and take control of the midfield. The idea was not to give any chance to Shanghai Japan FC players to play through balls in counters. It worked well and the game was fast and good in the first half thanks to both teams. Our midfield was really working well and Nikita, Max, Gus & Fabien were solid in the back. Jason opened the score but the icing on the cake came from our second goal… It started from way in the back going from a player to another. I think the all team touched the ball and Gordon finished the job with a small touch to make it 2-0 before half time.

In the second half we lost a bit of control of the midfield as Japan got so many substitutes and our legs were getting tired but again after that it was all about spirit and the will to win. We took control back of the midfield and defense was solid and our attack were trying to make the third. We had one slip up during the whole match but Noel was alert and stopped it with a great save ! Gordon scored his second goal with a good strike but soon after saw his penalty go sky high into orbit but after the final whistle it was all praise for the players.

 

It was a Super team performance of every single player today ! See you all on Wednesday !

 

Cheers,
Azz, Freek & Nick

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