Lions beat Azzurri in a pre-season game
Last Saturday, it was our second game pre-season game vs. Azzurri FC. It was great to see grass green and the field in good condition. Yes, it was hot with 30 degrees but that is what you need to get fit for the new season.
We had a nice balance of experienced players (will not call them old…), together with a couple of youth players. The surprise was to have Pat and Terao-san back in the squad as both were visiting Shanghai.
We opted for experience in the early part of the game and had Germain playing upfront which was not his natural position. Cameron who used to play in our early days U19 team came back to Shanghai for one year and made his debut in the senior team on the midfield. We started well with good and fast combinations and managed to set players free in the Azzurri defense but our finish was not on target. A close range free kick taken by Othmane had the same faith as the ball went over the cross-bar. After 30 minutes we dropped our level a bit and Azzurri got a few chances when they managed to put the ball behind our defense.
In the second half, we made a couple of changes but we lost our shape and composure… Azzurri came out stronger causing us more problems. There were good opportunities on their side but somehow we managed to defend them or they missed the target by themselves. We had a water break and that was the right time to talk to our players.
Azzurri found it harder to run after young and fast wingers. As their legs were getting tired, we got a couple of good chances.
With 10 minutes to go, we got another free kick on the edge of the box… Both Pat & Peter were discussing the strategy. Luckily, Pat didn’t take it and Peter instead placed the ball with a beautiful strike in the left corner out of reach of the goalie. Injured DJ Skiv was so kind to video tape the goal for the memory books.
The final whistle came and we got the job done. It was a good pre-season game work out for everybody! Congratulations a well to Cameron, Tommy, Saad & Matthew who made their senior debut.
After the game, we had to say farewell to Seiwa who is moving to the USA to study. Seiwa is a good example of a youth player who benefited from our youth development program. His commitment and hard work paid off as he became a full member of our senior squad last season. We wish him success in his next life chapter.
Back to training on Tuesday Lions!