Legends are still in the race for the title

The grass was green and the field a bit soft from the rain on Friday night. We had an early 09:00am kick off against Emerald FC. For us only a win would do to stay in the race for the title. On Emerald side, it was their last game of the season.

We had a solid and motivated team even after a couple of last minute drop outs due to Covid. David also was missing which caused us some problems to figure out our midfield composition. Tiber was kind enough to help out as goalie for this game. Masa-san and Benoit were asked to play in the midfield and we started with a 3-5-2 formation.

In the first 20 minutes, Emerald opted to sit in the back to weather the storm. We created good scoring opportunities by making use of our fast wingers. Skiv came close but his strike lacked a bit of power… Overall, the Emerald keeper made a couple of good saves in this 1st quarter.

As the temperatures were rising our cold water box was a welcome aid during the breaks.

In the second 20 minutes, we lost a bit of our edge and got a bit frustrated as we couldn’t take the lead. The speed of play dropped a bit as well due to the hot weather and Emerald played with more confidence. But a fantastic solo run by our man in form Mamdouh saw him outplaying his defender and one more Emerald defender and left the keeper helpless with a solid strike to give us the 1-0 lead. It boosted our moral.

We made use of our fresh substitutes in the third 20 minutes and created plenty of goal scoring opportunities. By this time we should have been up 4-0. Emerald had one good scoring opportunity as well.

In the last 20 minutes, we all agreed to change to 4-4-2 formation and go for the clean sheet as it would give us the 3 points. It looked like we could play the match out without any problem until suddenly to our horror… we caused a penalty with 10 minutes to go.

A 1-1 draw would have been big disaster but when the Emerald player shot the penalty in the right corner, we saw Tiber reaching out in the same direction and to our relief he stopped the penalty. Soon after, we made a quick break after an Emerald corner with Hira-san on the run. His perfect lay off to Fred our striker was enough for Fred to blast the ball in the net this time.

Smiles were appearing with a 2-0 lead after our hard work and the final whistle felt good.

[ SPL V ] Shanghai Lions FC 2-0 Shanghai Emerald FC

With 2 games to go against Wellington & Japan and two points behind the leaders Japan we are still in the race for the title.

Training on Tuesday and Wellington next Sunday. Exciting times for the Lions Legends.



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