U17 beat SKS U17 5-1

After our inaugural super difficult inaugural match against SIGP U17 in China (Shanghai) International Youth Football Invitational tournament, we only had 16 hours to rest for our 2nd match of the tournament against SKS U17. SKS is a Korean team and it was for them the 1st game of the tournament. After we lost Brandon on Friday with an ankle injury, we heard that Henry was also not able to play on this Saturday game. So with a small squad already and tired legs (as opposed to our opponent), it sounded like the game will be difficult for us. However, with the SIGP match behind us, we knew that we could keep composure throughout that match… This made our confidence stronger.

We started really well with a lot of speed and aggression and SKS U17 struggled to keep the ball. It resulted in several goal-scoring opportunities but we were not clinical enough to finish the job. Our defense was solid with David on the right, Max & Kevin in the center while Subaru-san was on the left. But as it goes in football, if you don’t finish your own scoring opportunities you ask for trouble… This is exactly what happened with us gifting SKS U17 the 0-1.

It was a blow as our heads were down for 10 minutes but when we got a corner everything changed for us. For the parents’ information… We have been practicing corners and set pieces all year round. Each combination has been given a “girl name” and each player knows what to expect and where to go. Pat is the master of this and when he saw the corner was taken he wondered which “girl” it was :). Then, when the ball got brought into the box after a short one-two, Seiwa did score with a header. This goal turned around the game and we started to play better.

David had a very strong game so far as right back and when he came up to the penalty box he didn’t hesitate to try his luck and his shot went into the left corner. Now, the game was back our hands (or feet) and we went into halftime 2-1 up.

The halftime talk focused on being more aggressive on the willingness to score. Once you get the chance, you need to take it with all your heart and soul.

5 minutes into the second half we got more bad luck as David had to come off injured after a poor challenge from his opponent. Luckily, David seemed to be ok afterward. We managed to maintain our territorial domination and SKS U17 players were even starting to get cramps. On a brilliant move from Daniel, Ryan received the ball on the left which he blasted into the net. 3-1 for the Lions!

Soon after we got another corner… No, I will not disclose the “girl name” that was called. It didn’t work 100% but Max saved the ball with a tackle setting up Kevin who didn’t hesitate to score in the left top corner. Ryan got his 2nd goal with a low strike hard enough to make the Korean keeper drop it… This goal probably helped him won the MOM award.

In the end, we tried to save the legs as we will play our 3rd game in 3 days tomorrow against Juventus Academy.

[ Youth Tournament ] Shanghai Lions FC 5-1 SKS FC

What we liked today was the overall positiveness within the team. Each player tried to help each other and we did nice combinations resulting in great goals. All the goals were team efforts. We also liked the rising leadership within the team… It is important when things don’t go according to the plan or expectation. Last but not least, we liked the way our substitutes came in… They all did well knowing we’re only allowed 5 subs per game in this tournament. Ok, one more satisfaction point is that none of our players got cramps against both SIGP U 17 & SKS U17… It proves that the drills at trainings are paying off.

The parent support was great today. We really appreciated that. We also appreciated Eric and his family coming to try replacing Brandon. Unfortunately, the organizers didn’t allow us to do.

Now let’s focus on tomorrow’s match. We will play in our away kit which you will get tomorrow at the field. Please bring your pass as usual. Well done Lions and get ready for the BIG match tomorrow.

Freek, Pat & Nick

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