Legends enjoyed the SPL V Santa Cup
It was an exceptional day yesterday. The sky was crystal clear without pollution and a very pleasant 16 degrees. It was the perfect setting for the 11th edition of the SPL V Santa Cup!
The SPL V Santa Cup is a fun tournament at the end of the year. As Chistmas Day is approaching, it is the right time to appreciate that we can play our beloved game no matter what is happening these days. In the SPL V league, we have players from all over the world and it’s a place where friendships are build on and off the pitch.
On the Lions’ side, we had a nice mixed squad under the supervision of Bob. As Clement (our usual goalkeeper) was absent, we had Jerome putting on the gloves. The tournament format was 12 teams 7 aside divided 2 groups of 6. Each team playing 5 games plus the final ranking game.
Our 1st match was against Japanese team Pudong United. We discussed beforehand that it was key to score first as the playing time of each game is limited. We started strong and quickly took the lead with a fine finish of Nicolas after good combination play. We didn’t sit back and kept the pressure on Nikko extended our lead. Even Jack came on the score sheet with a low strike. In the end we won 4-0 which was a perfect start for the Legends.
In our 2nd match we faced Scotland. We made sure our defense was solid. With Big John, Jack, FL & Chris, that was indeed the case. A nice strike from Skiv left no chance to Scotland keeper for the winning goal. 1-0 for the Legends as final score.
In our 3rd match we played the local team Nails FC. They made it hard for us as they defended with the whole team on their half with only one player up. They clearly seemed to be happy with a draw while we wanted more on our side. Unfortunatly, we missed a bit of luck in the finishing ! It stayed 0-0.
The 4th game was against Wellington. They didn’t have the luxury of multiple subs as they only had 8 players… that made the difference between the two sides. It was one way traffic and the legends finished the job with a solid 2-0 win and another clean sheet.
The 5th game was the most important as Japan FC won their 4 games while we drew once. To get into the final, we had to beat them as a draw won’t be enough. Japan well known for their fast passing game and technical ability in 7 aside games were playing for a draw making sure to defend first. It did give a couple of opportunities for our Legends. Japan got 2 free kicks but they blasted the ball into orbit twice and Jerome got a great save. Olivier was lucky as his back pass almost rolled in and actually it did but the referee didn’t see it. Unfortunately it stayed 0-0.
Our final game was against Super 48 for the 3rd/4th game ranking. Freek almost opened the score after he direct volleyed a long ball from Jack. Unfortunalty, his effort was saved by the goalie. Super 48 did score a nice goal… the only we conceded in the whole tournament. It gave them the 3rd place and we settled for 4th of this 11th edition of the SPL V Santa Cup.
The beers and mulled wine tasted good afterwards after a great day of football in Shanghai. Next week, we will have our Christmas brunch at Senso and we are very much looking forward to that.