U17 lose vs. Putuo Football School
For this new round in the SYFCL league, our U17 team was up against another strong Chinese team called Putuo Football School that only lost only 3-0 against SIPG and won 8-0 against Aksil FC. Our team was thin with only one substitution as Ryan was not available due to injury. The weather was hot for mid-November close to 25 degrees… So plenty of water was needed. We made a few changes in our formation as we put JP on top as a striker with James & Henry on the wings. Patrick would play the whole match as right back.
Putuo Football School took a 1-0 lead after two minutes as they intercepted a ball from our defender who should have passed the ball wide where was the free space but opted to pass back to the middle where it was super crowded with players. Yes, it was a blow to concede so early but today we were on a mission to play good football and work as a team. We started to make good combinations from defense to the midfielders to find JP who was very good at holding the ball for us. They were dangerous on the counters as their forwards played on the edge of offside but our defensive line was smart enough to play the offside. By now the game was equal and actually, we had more possession and our confidence was growing by the minutes. They did score a second one on a counter as we pushed forward.
In the last 10 minutes, we got several free kicks and corners to get back in the game. Our biggest chance came from James when he read a perfect pass from Kevin… after one bounce James put the ball over the keeper but unfortunately, the ball just missed the open goal. We thought to go into halftime 2-0 down but in the very last second, they scored their third super unlucky as right away the referee blew the whistle.
We told the player at the halftime talk that this was our best performance in the league and we saw every player working for the team and playing together. It was a joy to watch them not once a player had a negative word or attitude despite that luck was not on our side. We asked them to try and not concede and look for our goal which we deserved in this game. They scored again after 15 minutes when we got an intercepted pass back to Jay where the best option was to push the ball forward. Even after this blow, we showed spirit and determination we kept going and tried to score.
We got a free kick on the left which we thought was our chance to get the goal we deserved and we pushed both Max and Kevin forward and asked Hugo to cross a bit away from the keeper he did just that and the keeper missed the ball but hit Kevin, who was ready to score, with his fist on his head. Kevin was knocked down but both the linesmen and the referee ignored it and let the opponent play and score on the counter. Crazy stuff here as it could have been a serious head injury and nobody protects the player the referee should have stopped the game immediately but his comment after we complained was “sorry I didn’t see it”…
It meant we had to play the rest of the match with 10 players… Obviously, that was super hard on us and what happened after is something we never expected and we will never forget as the Chinese players started to disrespect us by making fun of our coaches and players. Totally unacceptable and unbelievable their management didn’t stop it and did nothing. Respect is the key in life if those young kids don’t know what it is by now we have to worry about their future.
At the very last minute, we got a clear foul in the box but the referee obviously didn’t see it but we got a corner and all of our players went forward as it was the last chance to score and the ball landed well and Max scored from close range. This goal meant a lot to us and the whole team celebrated in front of the team who looked down on us. It was a super nice reaction.
Today we stood up as a team and showed our character. We are proud of you Lions despite the loss. You never gave up and played as ONE team. Back to training on Tuesday and we will improve ourselves.
Pat, Nick & Freek