Senior team back in action after 2.5 months in total lockdown
Who could have predicted that we would not be allowed getting out of our houses or compounds for almost 3 months! This has been a massive blow Shanghai city, other football club, our own club and of course players… After this unfortunate lockdown experience, the SIFL (league of our senior team) decided to discontinue this season 2021/2022.
Therefore only friendly game option at the menu. We were ok to try and were up against Cosmos. Our main problem for this friendly game was that we got a couple of players injured, some who left and some who couldn’t come still for lockdown related issues. The bottom line was that we only could field 11 players with Seiwa on the way as his compound covid test took longer than expected.
We call-up some youth players and gave them a chance to perform in the senior team. Therefore Nicholas (goalie), Max and Brandon all made their debut in the first team.
The strategy of coach Pat was to stay composed and not chase too much in the early part of the game as it was over 30 degrees. With no subs against a team of 18 players; it was clearly going to be hard for us!
We did that and hardly gave anything away. But after a corner for Cosmos, it was a reflex of Tyrone who thought the forward would score if he didn’t touch the ball with his hands and they got a penalty. As many players are leaving (let’s call this one the consequences of the lockdown), Cosmos asked one of their leaving players to take the penalty as a farewell gesture. But to his astonishment, the ball went 15 meters wide. Soon after, there was a scramble into our box… Our players cleared several shots and the ball heat the post. For once, luck was on our side.
We did get a couple of chances but we were not decisive enough passing the ball instead of shooting at the first opportunity.
In the second half, we got more possession and our passing game was much better. We were looking for our goal but couldn’t find the final shot or break through. Instead, Nicholas saved us with a couple of times but got unlucky when he came out to punch the ball away from the incoming Cosmos player ready to header it in he did but it landed on the feet of another Cosmos player to score 1-0.
Our spirit was good as we didn’t give up and Yu Xuan came close to score when the Cosmos defender slipped paving a free way to him but he couldn’t shoot it behind their goalie. In the last 20 minutes, we controlled the game and were on top of the opponent which was a positive sign. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the goal we deserved on the day.
[ Friendly ] Shanghai Lions FC 0-1 Shanghai Cosmos FC
After the match we had to say good bye to Tyrone. A “true Lion” who had 2 spills with us. In his 2nd spill, he got a serious ACL injury which required an operation. During his recovery, he always been supportive and active to the team organizing social events. He also came to our youth trainings on several occasions to support and guide our youth players. We will miss him and wish him & his girlfriend Dominique all the best in Abu Dhabi!
Last but not least, it was so nice to see Cynthia and Ben back on the field after such a long lockdown. They were both happy to see their sons playing together in the senior team. Special moment in special times! It makes us all happy!
We will continue to train throughout the summer and already look forward our next friendly match.
Happy to be back Freek