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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Lions advance in Hebiguchi Cup after eliminating D.I.B. FC

[ SIFL Hebiguchi Cup ] Shanghai Lions 2-1 D.I.B. FC

Last Saturday we played D.I.B. FC for the fourth time this season and it was an important game for several reasons:

  1. First of all a win would give us two wins, a draw and one loss against them and a loss would obviously make us look weaker than them
  2. Of course, keep on Hebiguchi Cup race was the other important factor.

With only two players on the field at 10:22 (kick off at 11:00) it was not the ideal preparation you like to see as a coach. Phone calls were coming in about bad traffic. But with the car population increasing every single month there should be no surprise about bad traffic! Within 10 minutes before kick off we got our 13 players and god bless D.I.B. FC started the game slow so that it was better for us getting into the game. Games against DIB are always very tight and both opponents were just waiting for each others mistakes. Charles had a perfect opportunity to give us the lead but his lob went just wide and on the other side we gave away a free kick right  in the middle of the the edge of our penalty box… Not a good spot as DIB’s Chaoyuan Yin curled the ball in our left corner… 0-1! We did respond with a fast counter attack and scored the equalizer threw Matthieu. In the second half we tried to get the winner but a combination of hot weather with several players coming back from injury made us sink deeper and deeper in the defense. DIB looked fitter but there is a thing called fighting spirit. If you don’t play well you can still fight and that’s just what we did. The reward came in the 87th minute when Benji on the left found Azz, free on the far right, who quickly passed it to Matthieu in the box who turned and slotted the ball in the top corner! Its not the first time this season that we scored in the very last minutes and that’s a good sign.

This coming Saturday we will play Metro in the league and the fact that DIB just transferred two players to them will give us extra motivation! Great win and we now need to focus on the league and get back into fitness for our last 6 games !

Cheers Freek

Shanghai Lions honored to play with Chinese ex-professional football stars

Shanghai Lions honored to play with Chinese ex-professional football stars

Gong Lei (middle) -  Head coach of Guizhou Renhe Football Club

Gong Lei (middle) – Current head coach of Guizhou Renhe Football Club in Chinese Super League (中超联赛)

 

It was a busy Saturday for the Lions this 24th of August, 2013. In the evening, Lions were honored to play a friendly versus a team composed of Chinese ex-professional football stars such as Zheng Kewei (郑科伟) and Gong Lei (宫磊).

Lions’ bench was a little short in depth and we lost this friendly game 5-4 (2-2 in the 1st half). Although our team was much younger, our opponents proved us that touch, class and skills matter in football… Yes, we did run after the ball but it was a very friendly atmosphere and we hope to renew the experience soon.

 

 

 

 

Maserati Neptune CupEarlier in the day, some Lions were invited to represent Shanghai International Football League (SIFL) for the round 2 of the Maserati Neptune Cup in Shanghai. The first round took take place in Beijing On July 13th, 2013 with 4 teams: Shanghai SIFL, Beijing Media, IFFC Dream Team and National Media.

Shanghai SIFL won 2013 edition beating IFFC “Dream Team” 2-0 in final.

Kevin Wiessler from Shooters got tournament MVP award.

 

Shanghai SIFL won 2013 edition beating IFFC Dream Team 2-0 in final

Shanghai Masters 2013 on Sept 7 & 8, 2013

Its time to prepare to defend our Shanghai Masters title! The Masters will be held on 7 and 8 September at Waigaoqiao. Same time and same place there will be the Lions Cup our first own tournament with 16 teams! The Masters for now is for players above 40 and allowed two above 35. First of all we like to know whether you are available and it will help to let us know whether you are above 40 or not.

Game information and registration on the link below:

http://shanghai-lions.com/matches/213/

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Shanghai-Masters

5th SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL MASTERS 7-A-SIDE SOCCER TOURNAMENT
Saturday & Sunday, September 7 & 8, 2013

This Master tournament is for players 40 years and older (within the year 2013) including 2 player age 35 or above. Maximum size for each squad is 12 players, to be registered prior tournament start as we have played the past 4 years. Same applies for the modus: Both Saturday and Sunday will be played in groups. All be at the Shanghai Rugby & Football Club (www.shanghaifootballclub.com) on grass.

Tournament schedule

  • Friday, 9/6: Teams arriving in Shanghai
    • 7pm – 9:30pm: networking evening with free flow beer and finger food sponsored by Big Bamboo (venue Big Bamboo Nanyang Road)
  • Saturday, 9/7: 10am – 4pm: Group games
    • 5pm onwards: BBQ on the pitch for all teams, sponsors and spectators
  • Sunday, 9/8: 10am – 4pm: Second round games cup and plate groups, semi-final and final including trophy and medal ceremony.

Lions Youth now open for registration U16 and U18 season 2013/14

Young Lions,

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Last season after we established the Shanghai Lions Football Club we can look back at a very successful season. We have won over 6 titles and to have won both the SIFL and the SPL Championship (the best leagues in Shanghai) tells us that we are on the right track !

 

We started with our first youth team the Lions U18 last year. The key driver to do this was the enthusiasm of the boys who joined. It was a real pleasure to train with them and they were really motivated to play finally for a real club instead of the usual school games. We entered with our youth team in the SPL men’s tournament the Santa Cup and it was a great experience for the boys / we organized friendly games versus school teams as well against the Shanghai Lions Senior teams / some of the U18 players were selected for Senior team games and gained valuable experience and Alex and Lucas even ended up having played in the SIFL Cup final which we won !

 

In order to give more players an opportunity to play for the Shanghai Lions and experience what it is to play for a Club we decided to add an U16 team as both U16 – U18 teams can benefit each other.

 

What we can offer to the boys and girls is listed below :

– once a week 2 hours training most likely on a Wednesday or Friday evening.

Trainings are hold by experienced Lions players who are still playing regular in the Men’s Lions teams. Trainings will focus on skill / speed / stamina / team play / strength. Obvious the ones who come regular to the trainings will benefit most !

– friendly games against schools and or shanghai teams and against the Men’s teams. Mostly on weekends.

– Entering of tournaments either for youth or for men’s, like the Lions Cup and Santa Cup

– Outfit / every player will get his own set of shirt/short/socks

 

The Fee for this season will be 2000 rmb which you can pay at the first training we will announce the place and date of the training in due course, most likely at the Century Par !

If you are interested to join please send an email to info@shanghai-lions.com with your confirmation and we will keep the spot reserved for you !

Looking forward to see and train more young Lions so that they can take care of our future of our Club !

 

Sportive Greetings / Freek Boelen / President Shanghai Lions Football Club

 

A great end to a great Season !

Amigo’s and Amiga’s,

It couldn’t get any hotter than that in Green City. A sizzling heat broke the hottest day recorded in June since 1834 ! Nonetheless we had 12 teams lined up to play the end of the season tournament. The field was in perfect condition thanks to the Grass Master and the tents around the field could give the players at least some shade. Several teams had their end of the season party the night before and you could tell that in the first games of the tournaments. Teams were divided on two groups, one with the top 6 finishers of the SPL and one with the bottom 6 finishers of the SPL. It would give a fair chance to the lower ranked teams to play a final ! The cowboys showed their 8 aside skill and went into the final one point ahead of the Lions and in the other group the Samba’s (Japan) topped their group right ahead of the Pistolera Bulls. The final was won by the Cowboys as they had more energy left in their legs. Great spirit in the tournament and everybody enjoyed the games !

 

Final ranking of the end of the season tournament :

1)      Cowboys

2)      Samba’s

3)      Lions

4)      Pistolera Bulls

5)      Gremio

6)      Japan

7)      Flamenkos

8)      Galacticos

9)      Marlins

10)   Shanghai 2000

11)   Super 48

12)   ERS

 

After that it was party time at Latina and helped by the great weather and music, beers, food and  of course the Brazilian dancers, we could all enjoy the celebrations !

SPL 1 SPL 2 SPL 3

Once again we like to thank everybody who helped to complete our tenth SPL anniversary and made it the best season sofar !

 

Thank you to Yamada-san (schedule), Frederik (website), Adam for the Jinqiao field, Karl for Century Park field, James and David for the Waigaoqiao field, the Referees, the Dulwich school, Latina, Team Managers, The Captains, all SPL Players and team Sponsors   !

 

Cheers Freek SPL President on behalf of the SPL Committee !

Lions clinch the SIFL double

Lions & Lions supporters,

Title picture

It was hot on Saturday morning in Shanghai ! We had many activities on the program but first it was the SIFL Cup final against the Dutch ! We had a large squad but everybody was motivated and focused with one goal in mind to win the Cup.

 

Idea was too start aggressive and take advantage of the Dutch being nervous. Jonny O Sh…, warned us to stay calm if we were 1-0 down. Problem was that we were leading 3-0 after 20 minutes. Mr Mendel and High Flyer Jack scored the goals for us. We gave them a goal back to make the game more interesting and the referee helped as well a little to award the Dutch a penalty after one of their players slipped. We were back into a real cup thriller 3-2 ! The second half the legs were getting tired after a long season and we needed to work hard to keep the score as it was. We almost blew when we let the Dutch fast forward run thru our total defense only to see his shot being denied by the post. That’s what they call the Champions Luck ! Final whistle and time to celebrate our double !

 

After the Cup final we played the end of the season tournament as were in the group of death, Azzurri and DIB and Shooters……! Not easy with the Cup game in the legs ! Think in the end we ended 3rd or 4th !

After it was beer time and collection time for our trophies :

  1. SIFL opening tournament Cup
  2. SIFL Cup
  3. SIFL Champions Cup
  4. Dream team medals : Azz + Jerome + Benji + Dani + Dimitri
  5. MVP : Azz
  6. Coach of the Year : Freek

With all the trophies we headed to BLOC for our end of the season Lions Party! Absolute fun and great atmosphere everybody got an award for their contribution this season !

On Sunday we collected our SPL Champions Cup and ended third in the tournament there. Now we really need a Clubhouse for our silverware! What a weekend ! Amazing Lions !

 

Happy Happy Happy Freek

Lions win the third edition of the Amoy Cup in Xiamen !

Lions,

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Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try a tournament or match outside Shanghai ! That’s just what we did we managed to get 14 Lions willing to take on the challenge in Xiamen ! Both teams were in separate groups of 6 and needed to end 4th or higher to make to the quarter final. That was 5 games for each in the humid and hot weather of Xiamen. The pitch was in a beautiful location on an tourist island and real grass / the size of the pitch was small which in the end was good and resulted in many many Lions goals ! Lions B, the older and experienced lions helped by two experienced Xiamen players (old..) , were having a tough group but still managed to end 3rd in the group ! Lions A, the fast and furious helped by Lions Legend Kely, in the easy group won all their games and ended 1st in their group. The quarter final started after a heavy rain break and the opponent of Lions B appeared to be too fast and too strong, Xiamen African Star ! Lions A cruised into the semi’s after crushing a Latino Team with more than 10 goals ! However they were up against the same African team as Lions B, within 5 minutes we were 1-0 down and the Africans started to party, however it takes much more to beat a Lions team. Within three minutes we leveled with a skillful strike of Kely and before the Africans knew it they were losing good play by Azz and good finish by Charles. In the second half we locked the game with a 3-1 score and win ! The final was against a Chinese local team and the field was packed with tourists watching our game ! After 7 games of football the legs were tired and the pace was slow however we scored by Gui on a very fast break. In the second half we found more space and a perfect cross of Kely was nicely headed home in the top corner by Gui. We knew we wouldn’t give this away anymore but we let the Chinese score with a bicycle kick in the last minute to make everybody happy !mmexport1371102543191

Time to party we were the first outsider to win this tournament ! It was a well deserved and a great team effort, including family and friends who came out to support us ! This was a very well organized tournament with a good level of football.  Victor, our Lions A goalie was voted goalie of tournament and Gui our top scorer with 18 goals in 8 games was miraculously denied to the top scorer trophy  ! However we won the Cup and showed the people in Xiamen who are the Lions ! We received many compliments afterwards about our display of football as well our fair play !

 

Lets win one more Cup on Saturday (SIFL Cup Final) and then celebrate this great season all together at Bloc !

 

Cheers Happy Freek (who scored a penalty with his head !)

[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

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