Lions reached Hebiguchi Cup Final after a 1-0 win against Azzurri

Last Saturday, we had a good balance of young & experienced players in Hebiguchi Cup. Only a win would do to secure a spot in Hebiguchi Cup Final.

Last time we played the Azzurri, we had a hard time with their fast wingers and direct play. So, we opted to sit back and focus more on defending before we would attack. Azzurri indeed tried to pressure early and it resulted in a couple of corners for them… However we defended those well. The first time we had a break, we almost scored as Eforo our striker turned away from the Azzurri defender and had a good strike… but it was saved by Juliano, the Azzurri goalie.

That chance gave us confidence and we had a few more counters. At the end of the first half, Azzurri couldn’t pressure us with the same power as legs were getting tired.

We were pleased with 0-0 at half-time and decided to focus more on the attack in the 2nd half. We got a couple of great build up plays either on the left wing with Hira, Happy and Charles or on the right wing with James and Matthew. Azzurri were less dangerous as we pushed them more and more into defending. We came close to scoring a few times but the ball went just wide or the Azzurri goalkeeper stood in the way.

With 15 minutes to go, we got our reward when Charles was fouled in the box. Our Captain Othmane took the responsibility by taking the penalty kick. He kept his calm knowing that Juliano was well known for saving penalties… Not this time, as he put the ball perfect close to the left post. 1-0 for the Lions!

In the final minutes of the game, we defended our lead & even tried to score a 2nd goal. When the final whistle came, it was time to celebrate a good performance which meant a spot in Hebiguchi Cup Final! It was a great game played in good spirit with open football from both teams.

[ SIFL H Cup ] Azzurri FC 0-1 Shanghai Lions FC

After the match, it was time to celebrate our birthday boy Matthew with a cake.

On April 20th, we will play the Shooters in Hebiguchi Cup Final.

Let’s go Lions & go get the Cup!



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