Youth team held to 3-3 draw by Japan U18
Last Saturday, our youth team was up against Japan FC U18 for a friendly game. The weather was cold but luckily we didn’t have the rain like the days before. However the pitch was very soft and difficult to play on. We had a couple of players missing… Still, we had a well balanced squad of 15 players with Ben J. and Nicholas replacing Jay.
We started well keeping possession for long periods but a slip up from the back gifted Japan U18 a Christmas present to take the lead against the play of the game. We stayed calm and started to play very good combinations between defense and midfield and our forwards were dangerous trying to get behind the Japanese defenders. It was a strong finish of Ryan to equalize for us and thanks to our field possession we created another scoring opportunity for Ryan which he happily took to give us the lead 2-1. We could have extended the lead but Ryan missed form close range and Henry was unlucky to see his good low strike just hit the outside of the post.
In the second half, we wanted to continue our way of playing but our standard dropped a bit… What we did well was sending through balls behind the Japanese defense. However, each time when we took our shot on target it ended in the hands of the keeper. Japan U18 came back after a strong run of their play maker and he could only by stopped by a foul in the box. They converted the penalty for the 2-2.
For once, we did get lucky when a good run and finish from Henry slipped just over the line when the Japanese goalie couldn’t hold it. We definitely could have scored more goals as well we got several corners but were never dangerous. Instead another gift in the last 5 minutes let Japan U18 equalize to make the final score 3-3.
It was a good work out as the field was heavy to play on. After the game we stressed the fact that some of our players need to work extra on their fitness level. Thank you to the parents who came and watch in the cold. This coming week, we have no training as we have the CNY break.
Stay healthy and fit Lions
Nick, Freek & Pat