Shanghai Lions Football Club

Miracle happened for the legends

With only two games left for us this season we knew that the match against Wellington was the important one to win for the simple reason that they had won the most points in the 2nd round and they beat Japan last week which gave us a miracle lifeline in the title race.

Our motivation was high as we got around 20 players showing up in the morning and even FL came on time. We were aware of Wellington playing style as they like to have many players behind the ball and look for quick balls to their fast and skillful striker upfront.

We started ok looking for some gaps in their defense and trying to use the speed of our wingers. The match got a bit off track when we had a classic players bust up but luckily everybody was able to cool down and focus on playing football.

After the first 20 minutes, we stressed to all the players to calm down and play faster and with higher intensity as for us it was a must win game.

It did work as our midfield with debutant John and David and Skiv were creating havoc for Wellington with good fast combinations we swapped Mam and Willian our wingers and the last one went on a super run on the right crossing the ball just before the back-line. Bob our good old striker was ready to receive and place the ball perfect in the top of the net. Three minutes later it was John who tried his luck with a powerful strike which touched the cross bar but flew in the goal. We were flying high and played great football we could have scored one or two more goals.

Wellington did get a goal back after we lost the ball between our defenders.

At the break we asked our defenders to stay focused as their striker was a handful for us and we had to prevent him from scoring more. As well we mentioned to be careful for the cards as the referee was clearly motivated to give us as many cards as possible and several players were already in his book.

In the third 20 minutes, Wellington got more possession and we lost our formation a bit when we had a corner disaster struck as they intercepted and launched their fast striker he proved too strong for our defenders and scored the equalizer 2-2.

Our final talk was about to score in the last 20 minutes and win the match. We did bring in a couple of fresh legs hoping to give us that extra boost but when we lost the ball in midfield Wellington punished us and the scored what they thought would be the winning goal as they took a 2-3 lead.

This result would mean that our season would practically be over and only a miracle would save us now. With the help of more players going forward, we did get 3 free kicks at dangerous positions. Unfortunately, the referee put the wall at 6 meter instead of 9 meter so the first two efforts didn’t hit the target. With 5 minutes on the clock it was Pierre (coming back from injury) who took the 3rd free kick. The advice from the side line was low in the corner. His execution was absolutly perfect with a lot of power and precision… Unstoppable for the Wellington keeper.

With only three minutes to play we opted for long balls in the box hoping for a miracle and there it was the ball went in a scrimmage in the box but ended up in front of Ben who quickly took the chance and scored from close range.

The final whistle sound was a relief to be honest and our spirits were flying high afterwards. We never thought we could escape our faith being 2-3 down with 10 minutes to go but we kept believing until the final second. It showed our incredible team spirit whether you were on the bench or on the field we all supported each other all the way to victory. Yes, miracle happen!

[ SPL V ] Shanghai Lions FC 4-3 Wellington Champs

As Japan drew 2-2 against Lao Pao we are set up for the final game of the season to decide the SPL V Champion 22/23 on Sunday 11th of June 2023. It will be a massive game and we hope that all Lions supporters will come and watch our game to help us win the Championship on the brand new grass field next to the new SIPG super league team stadium. We kick off at 13:00 and we will have a bus picking up supporters from Puxi along the way to go the match.

Let’s go Legends! One more game!


Happy Freek

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