Senior team signs its first win of the season in Premier League

Last Saturday we were up against Japan which for us was a key game. Only a win would get us out of the bottom and a loss would mean more and more difficulties ahead. It was good weather 15 degrees and the pitch was better than last week ! We were missing players upfront Song couldn’t make it as Suzhou is very strict do to Covid cases. Hsam had new Puma boots and actually they were a perfect match with our RAC kit.

In the first half we decided to sit back and defend first as playing against Japan is difficult when you are down 1-0. But to our surprise Japan opted for exactly the same tactics. What resulted was a boring display with hardly any chances for both teams. We aimed to score form set pieces and had an extra training session on Tuesday to practice the set pieces. We did get a couple of free kicks but our execution was poor with limited threat. Both teams were discipline enough to stick to the tactics so no surprise it was 0-0 at half time.

As a draw wouldn’t help us much we decided to go for the win in the next 45 minutes. It seemed Japan had the same idea… Suddenly we had a real good battle evolving. Japan got a couple of good corners and Simon had to make a super save to keep our goal clean. We worked hard to and brought in our subs especially Yu Xuan our youngster brought positive energy to the game. We got a free kick on a good spot but Pat decided to shoot the ball in the clubhouse.

As time passed by I told Romain on the side line we need a magic moment of Peter to win this match and 5 minutes later that just happened as his shot from far outside the box had so much power that the Japanese goalie could only watch to see the ball fly in. The goal was the award for our great team effort of the last games where we just lacked the luck to take the three points.

With 10 minutes to go we tried to stop the Japanese power play as they pushed forward and got a few free kicks but we defended well all of them. In the last minute we thought Japan would eventually score as a ball dropped behind our defenders but our Japanese player Masa-san had another idea making a 5 meter long tackle to block the shot! It left a massive mark on his ribs but the essential was preserved. First win in this season’s league… We’re now back in the game.

[ SIFL ] Japan FC 0-1 Shanghai Lions FC

It was a perfect end of a great game and we are seeing good progress in the team sofar in 2022. Let’s get ready for our cup game against Anzacs next Saturday.

Happy Freek

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