SIFL 2012-13: Summary of Games from Week 2
There were some clouds and a bit of splash made all Shanghai pitches wet on September the 22nd 2012. A perfect day for football to settle some scores as round 2 of the Shanghai International Football League took shape. The top two fixtures of the day were between Shanghai ReUnited and league leaders Shanghai Lions FC and between current champions Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC and the champs of yesteryear Azzurri FC. Two top teams in the First Division did battle in the Voodoo versus Long Tang AFC Fixture. In all 50 goals were scored in 10 matches, 29 in the Premier League and 21 in the First Division.
In the Premier League FC Oranje were slotted against Shanghai Japan FC. The reinvigorated Orangemen were set to march on where they left of last week and march they did. Some special shirts were made for the occasion (pictured below) to add to the atmosphere and the mood was buoyant. Prior to the match both sides shook hands, Oranje won the toss, sides were changed and on-on with it. Japan played dominant football in the opening phase of the match and pushed Oranje back to their own half. As time went on Oranje got into the match a bit better when Orangeman Sun Shaoyi (2nd from left) got on the score sheet for a 1-0 lead. The game went back and forth but when veteran Lodewijk Boddeart found the net for 2-0 the Dutch got into a flow and a 2-0 half time lead. Japan did something back in the 2nd half when Nomiyama broke through a stalled Dutch defense, then surprised the keeper with a lovely lob for the 2-1. A few moments later Sun Shaoyi got his 2nd going around several players and the keeper scoring from an impossible angle outside the 16 for a 3-1 lead. Toby Zhou (pictured far left) headed home for 4-1. Japan’s Suzuki got 1 back bringing the score to 4-2. It was Wouter Raatjes who put the duel beyond reach of Japan heading home from a corner for a final 5-2 score. With this win the Dutch climbed to 2nd spot of the table. Last time that happened in the Premier League was in 1997. FC Oranje’s Sun Shaoyi was voted man of the match.
Shanghai Vikings FC were pitted against Beaver United. Vikings’ mission was to forget their dismal opener the week before and that was exactly the same for Beaver. Both teams started with vigor and both teams played with passion creating several chances but no goals were scored in the 1st half. In the 2nd half Vikings found the net first from a Peter Tobar goal for a 1-0 lead. Not long after that, Beaver managed to get one in too, via Nick Muzyczka; evening out the score 1-1. Both teams tried to force the winner creating several dangerous moments in front of the goal. Both teams played a great game. It was an obvious stalemate ending in 1-a-peace earning both teams their first point of the season. Viking Jens Christensen was voted man of the match while the same honors for Beaver went to Alex Andersson. Super Beaver Leslie Campbell after the match: “So much balance it made me puke. Next time I’m gonna get some yellow cards and start a fight.”
The Shanghai Krauts were up against DIB FC. The contrast between these 2 teams could not have been bigger. DIB recorded a big win the week before while the Krauts experienced a huge loss. DIB’s flyer on Weibo (main pic, above) added to their confidence going into the match. When the match got underway the Krauts played dominant, yet it was DIB who got on the score sheet first via Zhao Libin and Kossi Amouzou goals. Half time score 2-0 to DIB. Things looked sweet for DIB FC and top of the table loomed. But never count out the Krauts with the clock still ticking. Down and agitated the German Luftwaffe got in to play when Air Theiler towered over the defense and managed to get his head on the leather for the anschlusstor 2-1. Then Phil jumped higher than anyone else heading home from 15m out for the equalizer with 18 minutes to play and a 2-2 score. DIB put it up a notch and kept attacking while the Krauts hung back playing counter with 3 strikers (pictured below). It turned out to be the winning tactic when Joel Terrades took off steaming towards the 16 then produced a blistering shot putting one passed the goalie for a 2-3 Krauts lead. With 7 minutes to play DIB put out an all or nothing offense and almost got goal when a superb DIB strike was saved by goalie Das Vacuum with ultimate effort. Then from a DIB corner the Krauts picked up the ball went straight for the counter and delivered it Joel Terrades who scored his 2nd of the day. It was enough to seal the deal and settle the score at 2-4 for a determined zicke zacke Shanghai Krauts. A great comeback after last week’s 8 goal deficit. Joel Terrades was voted man of the match.
There was a bit of an upset in the battle of the champions between the Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC versus Azzurri FC. A fixture that normally draws the crowds out and a game tense till the last second. It went a bit different this time around. The first half Azzurri kept pace with the Shooters and were just 1 goal down. Then disaster struck as a clear Azzurri goal was ruled off-side. Instead of 1-1 the Shooters nursed a 1-0 lead at halftime. However after tea it was all over as the Shooters ran rife in the 2nd half with both Kevin Weissler and Guillaume Leclerque scoring hattricks. Mike McGirr added to his first half strike with a delightful chip that went in. Adam Kluger scored a consolation goal late in the game and saved Azzurri honors. Chris Banyard saved an Azzurri penalty at the death. Final score: Shooters 8 Azzurri 1. Not a very happy moment for the men in blue as this sinks them to the bottom of the table-Azzurri unworthy and the worst ever start in Azzurri history. Hopefully they can get their act together after the October holidays. Great win for the Shooters after last week’s draw with Japan.
The top match in the Premier League was between Shanghai ReUnited versus championship contenders Shanghai Puxi Lions FC. It was a game for the history books as CFA’s Alice Yan became the first female referee in SIFL history to lead a SIFL match. The Lions dominated from the start and ReUnited had no answer to the short passing Lions midfield. ReUnited were appealing for a free kick when Mandela was brought down but the ref didn’t give it so that Gaullist troops marched right through the ReUnited defensive lines enabling Romain Haution to find the net for a 0-1 Lions lead. This fueled French dominance and right before half time they doubled their lead when a deflected shot from Azzeddine Takouloufa flew in for a 0-2 lead at half time. In the 2nd half Azzeddine got on the score sheet again when this time his effort deflected off the keeper for a 0-3 French lead. But the match wasn’t over and ReUnited finally got it together when in the 75th minute Mandela dribbled, stumbled around two defenders and the French keeper and pushed the ball into the empty net 1-3. Minutes later a long free kick from the right by David Lazarowicz slipped over the gloves of the Lions keeper and Mandela was there to head home for 3:2. With 12 minutes to play ReUnited pushed for the equalizer but the score remained 2-3 to the Lions. Man of match honors went to Lion Benjamin Guerin. With this important win the Puxi Lions remain in charge of the table.
In the Premier League the Shanghai Puxi Lions FC are top of the table together with FC Oranje with 6 points from 2 games. The Big Bamboo Shanghai Shooters AFC are on 3rd with 4 points. DIB FC, Shanghai ReUnited and Shanghai Krauts FC all have 3 points each. Shanghai Japan FC, Beaver United and Shanghai Vikings FC have 1 point each and Azzurri FC are at the bottom of the table with zero points and a massive headache.