U17 played their 4th game in SFA youth league
It was a great day weather-wise and we did play on a good grass field despite the long distance to travel. In the morning, our preparation was not ideal with two players not being able to join, one player not able to find his kit while another player forgot his shin pads. Yes, we did manage to find an extra kit and pair of shin pads… Still, when you want to play in a competitive league organized by the Shanghai Football Association (SFA); all of this is not acceptable and each of us has to be more responsible.
We started the game against Aksil FC well with positive aggression and the team was ready to play at the counter. We got a great early chance when Ryan had a perfect low cross from the right which just need a tip-in but our forwards couldn’t reach the ball. We did get several corners all on the left and after one of those the ball was cleared by Aksil but on the far right and Ryan took a chance to score a great goal over their keeper in the left top corner.
After we took the lead we settled down but Aksil took more possession as the game progressed they in return got several corners and long throws in’s which were dangerous. They equalized with a slice-through ball behind our defense… Jay came out but was too late to stop the ball.
In the last 10 minutes of the first half, we were on top again looking to take the lead back. We thought we had it with one minute to go when Seiwa outplayed two Aksil players on the right and his effort by the save of the keeper landed at Brandon’s head who put the ball in the net. Off-side… unfortunately, it was.
In the second half, we wanted to go for the three points but misfortune happened again… when JP went shoulder to shoulder in our box with an Aksil attacker. As he tried to block the ball the Aksil player went down and as it goes in China minimum contact is a foul so we got a penalty against us. This is something we need to learn from as one thing is to avoid it and but the other thing is to take advantage when we attack and are in the box of the opponent.
The game was wide open after that Kevin had a chance with a free-kick but his effort went over and we had a couple of other chances. But Aksil scored again after a corner which we failed to clear in the middle of the box. We didn’t give up and pushed up JP as a right-winger. On one of his crosses, Henry got the ball wide open in front of the goal but his effort went over. It was nice to see that a couple of our players came straight to Henry to get him back at his feet as he was disappointed he didn’t score. Aksil FC did score one more goal… Not a great strike from outside the box but our keeper couldn’t react on time.
In the end, it was not the result we wanted but it was a fair result as we didn’t take our chances and we gave them opportunities to score. As we all say that’s football and there will always be another game. The key is the willingness to improve and train and get better. See you all on Tuesday.
Pat, Nick & Freek