Lions advance in Hebiguchi Cup and drew vs. Gremio

Lions,

[ SIFL Hebiguchi Cup ] Shanghai Lions 3-0 Shanghai Vikings FC

On Saturday, we played against the Vikings in the first round of the Hebiguchi Cup. We had not played against them for a while and knew them for their physical game. Patrick was missing for a while as he was hit by an acute food poisoning after eating chicken tika masala the night before! We started very well and scored within 2 minutes by Romain and it was our Captain (Benji) who looked the most inspired player of all the Lions on the day scored the second two minutes later. When Matthieu scored our third goal everybody knew the game was over as goal difference doesn’t count in cup game…

We tried to look for small passing possession games in the second half but it was not easy to find the motivated to push for more! By this win we made it to the semi-finals of this cup.

 

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions 2-2 Gremio

On Sunday we had a hard game against Gremio a strong Chinese / Brazilian team. The game consisted of two completely different halves. In the first half we found ourselves playing against only 9 Gremio players. We managed to get a quick goal from right back Francois who pushed forward and finished nicely. We tried very hard to score more and take advantage of the situation but we were not good in making the final pass or the final shot or header ! It was 1-0 at half time and in the second half Gremio had a full squad complete with three fast fit and furious African players ! It was a superb strike of one of them who brought the equalizer. There was nothing that Dim our goalie could do about it! We pushed Dave upfront and that move paid dividend as a fast counter and a good cross from Tomas C found Dave free in front of the goalie and he didn’t hesitate to score the 2-1. Now the game was on and we had to defend more and more and it was an off side hesitation that give Gremio the equalizer. We still got good opportunities to play on the counter and Cesar came closest only to see his shot hit one post and hit the other post, very unlucky!!! With 10 minutes to go we lost Nacho after the Chinese referee gave him two cheap yellow cards… We held on and in the end we could look back at a good second half!

 

This week and next week it will be a very busy weekend for the Lions:

 

Let’s try to get the best out of all these games stay fit and focused!

Cheers Freek

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[SPL News] 10th season is over

Amigo’sand Amiga’s,

All good things come to an end. The SPL season is no exception ! We had three games to play before we could evaluate the final ranking and performances of the teams. The weather was good and this season we have been lucky with the weather ! No complaints to the weather gods from our side !

  • Flamenkos 1-1 ERS

There was nothing at stake anymore in this game and the atmosphere was very friendly. Leftovers from Frederik’s goodbye Shanghai Party were shared between the teams and the referees. ERS scored first and after that it was a festival of missing opportunities for the Flamenkos. Sharing the points and the friendship was a good way to  end the season for our number 5th and 6th of the SPL !

  • Galacticos 0-17 Marlins

Despite the high score line the game was always good in sport and credit to the Galacticos who never gave up to try and score a goal. Marlins were happy with the result and ended up drinking away the Shanghai Beer Stock in Blue Marlin after the game.  Banksy in person closed down the establishment in the dark hours of the night !

  • Shanghai 2000 1-9 Cowboys

It was hard for the Shanghai 2000 players to stop Zhuang our SPL top scorer ! He just never stops scoring goals. First half it was 0-5 and luckily Shanghai 2000 could score a goal in the second half as they missed a few opportunities in the first.

 

Looking back it was an amazing season with hardly any incidents. I think that’s a great achievement of all the managers and players of the SPL !  Of course the Referees and the Grass-masters have done a fantastic job every week ! Its the confirmation that we are on the right track in the SPL. In the SPL we all respect our opponents and we respect the game of football and yes we battle for 90 minutes but afterwards we shake hands and have a chat or a beer to talk about the game.

We played a record 110 games at the three best locations in Shanghai  ! Total goals scored 698 !

We will wait until the 16th of June at our end of the season party to put everybody in the spotlight. There will be plenty of awards to give away ! Don’t miss the party.

A Quick recap of the ranking :

  • 11th Galacticos – Difficult season for them as they struggled to have a solid team base after a few key players left last season. What stood out for me was their spirit and the love for the sport. Losing almost every week is hard for any team, but the Galacticos never ever gave up and still managed to have fun during the games.  If they can get a solid base group of players together next season they can be back at their best !
  • 10th Super 48 – Despite ending close to the bottom of the SPL Super 48 had their best seasons ever. They gave many teams a lot of trouble and the highlight for them was their victory over the cowboys. If every game was only 45 minutes long they would end up in the Top 6 of the SPL no doubt about that. They are a big contender for the Fairplay  Cup this season. As well its rumored they will change their name to Super 38 next season !
  • 9th Pistolera Bulls – Looking at the performance of the Bulls this season it’s obvious that with 91 goals conceded they had their problems in the defense. I have seen games where Bilgin opted for a one man defense, most of the time himself. In this way he could collect more yellow cards and in that sense the strategy worked. Overall fitness level is another point of concern for the Bulls as they are not getting any younger and some of their players need to carry the extra kilos. Bilgin is working on a mega deal with the largest fitness center operator in Shanghai to get his player back to their old level. Scoring is no problem for the Bulls with over two goals per game on average !
  • 8th Japan – This will be the lowest ranking for Japan in the SPL. One of the problems is that their top striker only scored 8 goals. If they could have scored more than their 46 goals they would easily have ranked 6th place or better. Of course their season had  highlights as well a come back to clinch a draw versus the Flamenkos after being down 5-0 will be remembered far beyond Tokyo ! A draw versus the Lions as well as its not easy to take points from them. We expect a better performance from Japan next season !
  • 7th Shanghai 2000 – Our rooky of the year ! Playing on the super pitch at Century Park as their home ground we can conclude that they had a decent first year in the SPL. Too bad that their top goals scorer Hugo had to leave China half way through the season but still they managed to score 63 goals. Shanghai 2000 are a team with experienced players and a good disciplinary record. In China that’s a good asset to own besides many properties !
  • 6th Flamenkos – If only everybody would have come to each game they promised to come they would have been in the top of the SPL.  A mix of Champions League games / Formula 1 / El Classico’s resulted in a small squad. If everybody was present they were a hard team to beat. With only 53 goals scored it as well were the missed opportunities that kept them out of the title race this season !
  • 5th ERS – A few very good players left at the end of last season. It resulted in a difficult first half of the season. It was their teams spirit that kept them alive and after Chinese New Year they had a very good run of results. Scoring goals was their problem you cannot blame their strikers as together they scored 50 pct of ERS’s total of 44 goals. A good scoring midfielder will surely send them in the top the SPL next season. ERS scouts are already searching the globe ! Fifth place out of 11 teams is not a bad result !
  • 4th Marlins – Before the start of the season Steve disclosed to me that their strategy was to win the SPL on goal difference in the final game of the season. For very long it seemed to be the right choice. They ended up scoring an all time SPL record of 123 goals ! Helped by goal scoring machines like Kevin and Fedja and Gui who together scored 63 pct of their total. However in the final games of the season they let the title slip out of their hands or feet…or heads. ! Having scored the most goals this season and having the second best defensive record in the league might leave you with the question why they only ended on the 4th place !
  • 3th Gremio – Very solid team performance until the very end of the season. First year to operate under the Gremio name and despite losing the title they can look back at a successful season. They had a solid defense the third best in the league but scored  a bit less goals compared to the other top 4 teams, 83 goals ! However some of those goals surely belong to the SPL “Best Goals of the Season” !
  • 2nd Cowboys – To say that the Cowboys were the surprise factor of the season is an understatement ! We never knew that Cowboys could play football ! They had a super season ending only 5 points behind the Lions. Their strength was their attacking duo Zhuang and Chen KL. Zhuang became the SPL top scorer with 40 goals ! The cowboys reached over 100 goals for the season in their last game. Defense was not as strong conceding 43 goals but overall a fantastic result for them !
  • 1st Lions – The Lions thought they had lost it when in the last game of 2012 they lost against the Marlins 4-3. However after the game all players stayed back for a few beers to heal the pain as team ! It helps to always be positive and the conclusion of the day was that they needed to win all the games left for the season in order the be Champions ! This is exactly what happened. The secret of their success was by all means their defense as they conceded only 2 goals in the rest of the season and 18 in total. By beating their closest rivals in the last games of the season we can say that they deserved the Championship !

 

Let’s all celebrate the good end of the season tournament on the 16th of June followed by the SPL Party and the SPL awards Ceremony !

Thank you for being part of the SPL. You all made the SPL Special !

 

Cheers
Happy Freek – SPL President on behalf of the SPL Committee

Lions get one step closer to the SPL title

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions 6-0 Gremio FC (05 May 2013)

Nowadays Mondays in Shanghai are not bad as every weekend we have a good Lions performance and to be honestly that makes you feel good. Last Sunday was no exception. The writing was on the wall we had 18 hungry Lions at Waigaoqiao for our most important game against Gremio roaring from the kick off.

We looked for the early goal and within 4 minutes Azz played wide to garret who crossed without knees right on the head of Adam. Bang 1-0 ! After that we were superior in defense the key for our success in defense is not to have French Players in defense its working as we didn’t concede a single goal since Dec 9 ! That’s an impressive Lions record of course a French Goal Keeper is always good that’s why we have Thomas and Dimitri ! We controlled the midfield and Gremio started to play long Balls to Adam the Azzurri striker much to our liking. Only issue was that we should have been 4-0 up at half time but we failed to finish !

Second half it was about fitness our hard work throughout the season paid off as on all positions including the bench we had fitter players. Benji showed us how to finish and score at the beginning the second half and Jack started to talk about birds releasing some substance on his Lions shirt. Joel and Azz scored both a goal. And out of all people Jeff fresh from the bench scored a copy cat of Benji’s goal ! To end the party it was “Jack in the Box” making a gangnam style move to score with his left foot to the dismay of M. Warady who just had being subbed !

Two games to go if we win both we will be SPL Champions ! It will be fantastic and we have everything in our own hands or feet !!

Please all come to training Wednesday and for this Sunday as we have no game we invite all the Lions to come to the Century park where we booked half the grass field from 1100-1300 for an all Lions match/training. After we will have lunch at Latina with some beers and to end a great Sunday we will watch at 1400  the Cowboys vs the Marlins any result is good for us !

 

Cheers
Very Happy Freek

[SPL News] Big scores in the SPL

Amigo’s and Amiga’s,

We had our first “three locations 5 games weekend” as Waigaoqiao is becoming available again after the cricketers are packing up! Its more difficult to manage but in return we are able to play more games. For the teams who didn’t pay the fee yet you need to contact me and make an arrangement ASAP ! We are already looking forward to the Santa Cup 2012 please write down the date 16 December. It will be largest Santa Cup ever with over 20 teams attending and we do hope for some early snow to make it more attractive !

  • Gremio 3-0 Super 48

As per above picture the Hawks changed into Gremio and that means more camera’s at the pitch and more samba football in Jinqiao ! Gremio was nice to Super 48 as they missed many opportunities and to be fair both Super goalies did a good job to keep the damage small.

Not the result the Lions wanted to see but they could only blame themselves by not taking their chances ! As this was a 1000 AM Waigaoqiao kick off the Lions found a few players missing due to the Halloween parties in Shanghai the night before.

  • Shanghai 2000 3-4 ERS

ERS is still unbeaten this season and the man in form Nico Ch scored a hat-trick ! Shanghai 2000 is getting more and more used to the SPL level and come close in this game.

  • Pistolera Bulls 1-10 Cowboys

Bilgin’s men were not ready as they found themselves trailing 0-3 within the first 15 minutes. Cowboys were in control of the Bulls and that seems logical if you are a Cowboy!

  • Marlins 13-1 Galacticos

Not sure whether this was a football game looking at the score line ! Fedja the Marlins striker already scored 14 goals this season so defenders you are warned upfront !

Next Sunday we have four games :

  • 930-1130 ERS – Super 48
  • 1130-1330 Gremio – Japan
  • 1330-1530 Flamenkos – Cowboys
  • 1400-1600 Pistolera Bulls – Shanghai 2000

Hope that some of the lower ranked teams can get some points this Sunday ! Good Luck to everybody !

 

Cheers
Freek – SPL President on behalf of the SPL Committee

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