Last game for our German legend Matze
Last Sunday was a special day because it was Matze ‘s last game after more than 250 games wearing a Lions shirt. We were up against local team Lao Pao, the latest comer in the SPL Veteran league. We got last-minute cancelations and a few players also arrived late… This resulted in the oldest forward line-up in Lion’s history with a cumulated age over 160 years old!
The field was a bit hard to play due to the last few days’ rains. There was also a strong wind blowing against us in the first halves. The Chinese team looked fit and sharp and their number 55 legs were double the width of us. He was definitely their key player getting all the balls and taking all the free kicks. Luckily our players noticed that and one by one we made sure to give him a little notch and prevented him from passing or shooting. We were happy to rest with 0-0 in the first 20 minutes.
In the second 20 minutes, our game got better as we managed to get closer into their box. It was a great run by Aky in the box which was ended by a slide tackle (which is not allowed in the SPL V)… So we got a penalty and it was our playmaker Haroun who kept his calm and scored 1-0 for the legends.
In the third 20 minutes, we made sure to keep our defense intact and our goalie Clement saved us a couple of times by boxing the ball away. On a far free-kick, our president thought he could send it into the top corner with the help of the wind… His effort got deflected by an opponent who passed it nicely to Sylvain. He ended up free in front of the goal and scored his second goal for the legends.
In the last 20 minutes, we composed ourselves after an earlier bust-up which was not necessary. We played out the match keeping the clean sheet and clinching 3rd place in the SPL Veteran.
After the final whistle, it was time to say farewell to Matze & Natalia. We did that after a few speeches and managed to lift Matze ‘s 100 kilos up in the air a couple of times. We wish them all the best in their new life. They promised to carry the Lions family’s heart and passion all the way to Berlin.
PS: Last but not the least, a few days before Matze & Natalia celebrated their farewell in Shanghai downtown. A necessary means of saying goodbye to all the friends after spending so many years in China. Matze & Natalia, we are missing you already!