With 21 Youth Lions in action (two teams in the U17 category), we had a strong presence at the 2018 AKS Shanghai Cup last weekend. On Saturday each team had 5 consecutive matches of 20 minutes each. Our B team did well and had a few very close matches which could have ended either way. The A team was in fine form and with four wins and one 0-0 draw, they made it to the finals on Sunday.
On Sunday our B team played their best football in their last match against Stoke City where they were unlucky to concede a goal in the very last minute. However all players gained experience over the weekend and in the end had a fun experience. For the A team they needed to beat Stoke City in the semi finals. The match was very tight and both teams tried to play on counter. It was a smart free kick from Matty which gave the Lions the lead with just a few minutes left on the clock. With the 1-0 win they made it in the finals where they expected to play Aksil ReUnited but they were surprised by a strong German team from Hongqiao.
In the round robbing match against this German team we played 0-0 and knew that this team was strong. We played the final in a very disciplined manner with our first priority not to give anything away to the opponent and second to try and find a space to counter on the 7 aside pitch. Yusuke came very close to score the 1-0 and Victor created some danger as well. However it stayed 0-0 until the final whistle. Now our hope was on Max our stand in goalie who proved to be in great form over the two days. Phillip and Matty scored both their penalties and Max saved the second penalty of the Germans ! Victor up next did what he had to do and that was to score and give us his goal gave us the well deserved title.
Over the weekend we experienced great team spirit and good discipline by the Lions on and off the field. Good coaching helped the teams and last but not least we were happy to see parents come and support us !
Well done Lions !