It has been a difficult time as right during the CNY holiday we found ourselves in a situation which none of us expected to happen. When COVID-19 virus broke out China took fast-action closing down all the cities and ordered all the people to stay home. With all the school closed it meant that soccer was no option for us as the fields were closed as well! Life without football was hard and it made you realize how much we missed the weekly training and matches together with your friends from all over the world! Sitting/working at home is not good for your fitness level as you surely move less and tend to eat and drink a bit more. For one week you can laugh about it as we were all in the same boat but after two months it’s no longer a joke and a lot of us found ourselves frustrated at home… However, in the last couple of days, the situation has improved a lot in Shanghai. This is contrary to the situation in the rest of the world as now all sports including soccer are halted across the globe on a scale we have never seen in our lifetimes.
You can imagine how happy we were when the Shanghai Government announced last week that sports facilities could re-open to adults only subject temperature checks and proof of Green QR code. We were quick to take this opportunity and booked a field at Qi Yi sports complex and enjoyed our first match of football last Sunday! With a blue sky and 24 degrees and no pollution, you can imagine we played with smiles on our faces!
Yesterday we had our first training session and although we are all still a bit out of shape we are motivated to get our fitness back!
Couple of more training sessions and we will be ready for our first match post COVID-19 virus!
We knew it was going to be a hard match vs. Aksil as our U18 squad is currently having several players who are only 13-14 years old… This being a challenge, it’s good to play against older players so you can learn and see what you still need to work on and improve as a young player! Our game plan was defensive first to make sure we control the midfield and we left Paris our new striker upfront.
We thought he scored the 1-0 in the first 5 minutes but his great placed effort went just wide. We had a few more chances but also were caught out a few times on corners for us where they got the ball first as most of them were taller than our players and the countered very fast. It was a free-kick for them which gave them a 1-0 lead. Soon, while we were trying to build up from our defense we gave them another goal. As it was still early in the game but we were showing some cracks in our team as we focused on the negatives more and forgot about the good things we could do in the match! So with 10 minutes to go in the first half we found ourselves 3-0 down after we couldn’t defend their shot well… it was superb to see the team stand up instead of giving up and they played their best 10 minutes of the match. Paris nicely set up by our midfield players brought us back to 1-3 and a great build-up from our defense on the right with Matt who found Henry who gave a super pass to Paris to make it 2-3 going into the break for half time!
During the half time talk, we asked more effort from all of our players and asked them to step up! We got a few opportunities to level the game but a superb strike of the Aksil player from outside the box put us behind again. In the next 20 minutes, we lost control of the match and Aksil had several shots on target. Kokki our goalie was alert and saved us wherever he could. On the counters, we tried our luck and after a good combination in the midfield they found Yuma-san in the box who with one quick move according to him was fouled “clear penalty”! Mathew Blisset stood up to take the responsibility as one of the older players and he put us back in the game 3-4! With only a few minutes left we kept showing our Lions spirit and were fighting very every ball and all the team effort got rewarded in the very last minute of the match when on the break Yuma and Paris found Daniel who put the ball with a small touch at for the right end of the goal !!
It was a great match to end 4-4 and all of our players learned a lot today but what stood out was we never give up mentality as it was amazing to come back twice from far behind! It was nice to see so many parents and family come out to watch the match despite the very cold weather and we appreciate that very much !! Well done Lions what a great come back and team effort!
Lions, friends & family. It’s time to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome this happy new year 2020! 2019 was a good year for the Lions as we left some footprints everywhere in Shanghai!
Our U16’s started to play very well in the second half of the season as the hard work at the training paid off. First of all our players were fitter and stronger due to Nick’s work out sessions and the tactical two/three touch pieces of training made all players more confidence in the games. Actually, while we were already in mid-June and were done for the season we became Champions as Ebbe Sand our competitor lost their so-called “easy match” against YKFC.
Our U18’s started well from the beginning of the season and were Champions for the second year in a row 10 points clear from number two DEQ. We ended the season with a nice BBQ for players and parents and held a match for the fathers vs. the sons the next day at Concordia.
Our Seniors did well with the help of some of our U18 players including Noel our youth keeper… We got also a lot of students who played with us for 3 to 6 months. However, the competition was a neck to neck race vs. old rival the Marlins. The last match of the season was to decide the Champion but we lost and ended second! We did participate for the first time in the Chen Yi Cup” organized by the SFA. We enjoyed it but lost our second match in the last minute of playing time. We will join again next year and we will do better.
Our Legends had one of their best years ever as they won the SPL V league a strong competition with 10 teams! They also won the Master Cup the over 40’s tournament organized by Super48 and the Santa cup for the first time. In both tournaments, the legends won all their matches and didn’t concede a single goal! The key to the success of the Legends is the commitment of the players to turn up for matches… As a matter of fact, they managed to have almost the same squad week in and week out and play in the same formation most of the time. Well done legends!
The Lions FC is and will always be a club where we rely on the help of our own players to run and manage the club. That’s the beauty of our club and we were very sad when we got to know that Azzeddine made the decision to move to Phuket. Azzeddine’s contribution to the club is hard to express in words but his passion for the sport and the understanding of the game is from a level we can only look up to and we appreciate so much as he showed us the way how to train how to play and how to win!
In the last two years, he has put all his love and energy in the youth teams and all teams improved! Of course, we always hope he will come back one day but for now, we do wish him all the best in the world for his new life in Phuket.
Going forward we are very pleased with Patrick taking over Azzeddine’s role at the youth and senior training. With the great physical sessions of Nick, we have a great team of coaches. Also, it’s nice to see Romain helping out with the senior team and new Lions U18 players making their debut with the senior teams and playing very well! Last but not least I like to thank FL who’s working on the background to keep our website and statistics alive and running! Life nowadays is all about content…. and with 3.5M clicks on our website, we must do something right!
We wish all the Lions and their families in Shanghai or abroad a very healthy, sportive & happy new year 2020! Let’s leave a couple of more footprints in Shanghai this new year! Trust me we are very lucky and fortunate to have this great group of people and players from all over the world keeping the name and reputation of the Shanghai Lions alive and kicking! Once you are back home to your country only then you realize how special it was to play in Shanghai with the Lions whether you are U16 or U18 or Senior or a Legend!
LET’S ALL ENJOY TO BE PART OF THE LIONS FAMILY AND MAKE 2020 ANOTHER GREAT SHANGHAI LIONS YEAR !!
CHEERS & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 AGAIN
Freek on behalf of all the Lions in the WORLD!
In the afternoon, it was our youth players who had a good time at Club X where they played 3 rounds of Laser tag. The scores were close and good laser tag battles took place. Of course, the coaches Patrick, Nick & Freek were main targets for the players! It was a good way to end a great first half of the season. If you are interested to join our youth teams, you’re very welcome! If you are aged between 13-18 and need more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the evening, we had a nice mix of legends & senior players joining the Christmas Dinner at Kartel. The drinks and the food were good and afterward, we paid respect to our DJ’s Kevin & Kad and visited Club Gypsie where ended a great evening in the late hours of the night or better said in the early mornings of the next day!
We wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy/Healthy 2020. See you all next year!
Freek on behalf of all the Lions and their families
For this Santa Cup 2019 edition, the setting could not be better with superb weather for the month of December on the fantastic green natural grass field of Wellington college. 12 teams from all over the world playing with Santa hats in great friendly and respectful spirit… Amazing! Believe me, this is a unique tournament where we respect any color of the skin, any race, and culture… you cannot find that back in your home country! So honestly, I was a bit sad while organizing this tournament to see the Lions had the least players of all the 12 teams. In my view, it’s about giving back and show appreciation of what you have and share with others!
So we only had 7 players to start with Sylvain coming directly from M1nt… As we were short in number, the president had to start as a goalkeeper. The positive of it was that all the players that came were highly motivated. As we were playing all the top 6 teams in the league we knew it was not going to be easy especially with only 7 players and 6 games in total!
For the 1st game, we were up against the Bulls and we beat them 2-0 which was a good start especially in a tournament! After we played Wellington A and Wellington B and beat them respectively 3-0 and 8-0. After that, we got the main game of the day against Emerald. With Romain in goal and Terao in the squad, we were ready to give them a hard time. We got a penalty which Bob took but a great save from their keeper kept them in the race! They were dangerous on counter-attacks with Fafa but most of his efforts went wide. We took the lead with a great ball in from Andrei finished by Bob and a good save from Romain first time ever goalie gave us the three points! After we played Japan in our final group stage match. We were already number one in the group because Bulls tied with Emeralds so it was not our best but we won 1-0!
The final of the Santa Cup 2019 was against England as they were top in the other group! In only 15 minutes we beat them 5-0 with a great first “chip” goal after 3 minutes from Andrei. Afterward, we controlled the match and played really well as a team with plenty of opportunities and some great goals!
Today was a superb performance of a small group of legends with hardly any subs but clean sheets in the whole tournament and some great goals! I am proud of the players today! It’s the first time for the Lions to win the Santa Cup! So for the people who came, you are LEGENDS !!!
For this U16 last game of the year before Christmas, we had Julia and Alvaro missing versus YKFC… It meant that some of the players were asked to step up and lead the team in the right direction. In the first part of the game, we focused on defense first and good build-up from the back to the midfield players and create opportunities from the flanks. YKFC did have a strategy and game plan for us which was to sit deep and defend with the whole team… In other words “parking the bus”. It worked well for them however whenever they had a goal kick the coach asked them to build up from the back instead of the long balls and that was good for us as once they gave the first ball wide we pressured them in the corner with our attackers and midfield players. We scored the 1-0 with 15 minutes played by a free-kick from Daniel on the right side who found the head from David who with his new hair scored with a good header away from the keeper! We stayed compose and were waiting for our next chance which was scored by Matt after he was faster in reaction to surprise the YKFC keeper after a good pressing form our players! However two minutes later, they scored as we struggled to clear their high balls. In the last minute of the first half, we got a great combination in the midfield with Yuma-san giving the final pass to Daniel who didn’t hesitate to put the ball in the far corner!
We went in the dressing room 3-1 up but had some hard talks as we needed to improve in defense and we asked some players to step it up!
It was amazing to see the whole team transform into a superb teamwork display where all of the players stayed in their positions and executed the 1 or two touches which we have done at training week in and week out! We created several opportunities with great build-ups between 4-5 players and on both sides of the field and whenever YKFC did come close to the goal we had several midfielders and defenders to drop back to make sure no danger for Kokki-san! Our fourth goal was very nice with 3-4 quick combinations on the right side and Daniel blasting the ball in the net with his left foot from the middle of the box! Matt was unlucky to see his nice strike hit the crossbar and in the end, David got a second goal with a great strike as well to make the final score 5-1!
We went back to the dressing room after the match and gave compliments to all players today as it was a really good team performance and we were very happy with the way we played football!
Well done Lions and a good way to end 2019! However, we are not done yet as we will have our Christmas event on the 14th of December. No training next week but we see you all next Saturday! Also, it was Nick’s 31th birthday… So we took a video for him. Happy birthday, Nick!!!
For this 1st deciding game of the season against Marlins, we knew this could be another thriller as some of our players were missing due to the Phuket tournament. As a consequence, we came up with a small squad but it is sometimes better having a small motivated crew instead of a large one. Until Friday evening we were not sure about our goalie as our worst-case scenario was to put Pat as the goalkeeper. On Saturday morning thanks to the help of Arnault we got a goalie and could work on our formation! During our warming up we got Yu injured that left us with 15 minutes to go with only 13 players and no goalie as Matt was struggling to find the field. However, he arrives in good spirits and motivated 5 minutes before kick-off!
The early tactic was to focus on defense first and play compact and wait for the counter opportunities. We worked very well as a team in the first 15 minutes with good ball circulation and possession. It was a long-distance strike from Kevin which couldn’t be stopped well by the Marlins goalie and Arnault was alert to give us an early lead. We knew nothing was won yet but tried to play in the same formation and style almost got the 2-0 when a great thru ball reached Arnault on the run but his effort went offer. Marlins did get a couple of corners which were very dangerous and it was one of their counters where we were unlucky not to be able to clear the ball but instead handed it to the Marlins attacker who equalized 10 minutes before half time!
At half time we made two changes as Terao-san arrived and we tried to play the same as the first half but the Marlins got the better of us in the first 15 minutes putting more pressure on our defenders. As the game moved on we got our playback and got a few occasions. On a counter led by Arnault, we finally got the 2-1 lead with a goal from Philipp. Marlins pushed more players forward and got a lucky reward when a foul from Fafa on Masa turned into a foul from Maso on Fafa and the referee gave a thriller penalty! It was 2-2 with 7 minutes to go and everybody thought it was the final score but the Lions had other ideas pushing everybody forward and a long throw-in from big John caused havoc in the Marlins penalty box and our youngster Alvaro was alert to score 3-2 and within the next two minutes he scored the final score 4-2 on a counter after a supercross from Big John our right-back while all the Marlins were going forward to equalize!
What a match! A super team effort with a lot of hard work for each other. A great pleasure seeing so many happy faces at the end of the game after this thriller.
Great goalkeeping from Matt
Great leadership from the older players
Great play from the youngster Laurenz, Matthew & Alvaro
Great support from Julia & Nick
Lions, we are one family and one team ! Well done!
It 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!
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!
What 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.
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!
It was a good turn up for the 2019 Green City Cup today and we like to thank the parents who came to support as well! We had to play three matches in a mini-competition. Our first match was against DEQ with Yu Xuan in goal and he actually made two very good saves but it was not enough to give us the victory as in this match we gave the goals away to DEQ and lost 2-1. However in the second match against Stoke with David in goal we changed our mentality and started to fight for every single ball and each and every player we brought in did the same so it was super team performance and we beat them 3-0. In our last game against the Jaguars we were going for the clean sheet and tried to score fast but in the first half it was not easy as we were impatient and let them come back from our 1-0 lead to make it 1-1 however in the second half we played good football again with a lot of good combinations and plenty of opportunities created by ourselves we scored 4 goals in the second half and could have been more ! Overall we are happy today with the team spirit and the way we played as a team everybody did his best to contribute! So well done Lions next time we go for the first place!