It was a very hot day on Saturday. Kick off saw 11 almost-melting Irish & English (and one Dane) take to the field against a very competitive FC Nippon. The first half was surprisingly energetic given the conditions. The two teams traded chances before the Japanese struck first just before the water break. Their midfielder struck a shot from the edge of the area which was going wide until it took a nick off a Lions defender (although, despite vicious in-camp rumours, it’s not clear who it actually hit off), which re-directed it over the line, shot past Anders before he knew what was happening. The Lions pressed on, and on, and were rewarded midway through the second half with a goal that highlighted the collective spirit and commitment in the group. Heading into the last 20 mins, it was largely the Lions on top, with a few unlucky misses that ranged from the almost-sublime-35-yard-screamer to the through-on-goal-why-is-he-passing-the-ball-to-someone (hat tip to a certain Neil C for both highlights for the match reel). Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. For the Lions, yet another game where we play well in parts but don’t quite manage to convert. Thanks go to FC Nippon for a game played in the right spirit with one notable exception, who shall not be named. Best of luck with the season ahead. And that’s all I remember really. #FTM
Hot Saturday Sunshine burned the pitch for Game 6, Gaelic Lions vs FC Nippon. Thank you for all the member`s support to complete this game in hot weather. FC Nippon aimed the first win of the season in this match. We updated our mutual strategy and shared learning from last several matches. Overall, we can say our performance was improved and we gave opponents only 1 goal much better than last matches. On the other hand, we acknowledged that we need more strategy in attacking third to reach goals. We successfully started in the beginning of this match. With our high possession, we controlled the match, shot several times, and cared powerful counter attack by Lions. At 10 minutes in first half, our young rising star entered the penalty area and scored silently. After until half time, our hard work was unsuccessful to obtain additional scores. In the second half, our strategy was continued that how overcoming in this severe pitch condition was "Just run more than them". We regretted to miss some big chances in first 10 minutes in the second half. Meanwhile, Lions succeeded to score from few cross pass and defeated Nippon defense. We did not give up until time up and utilized our substitutes fully to win the game, but it`s not enough to improve our performance and the heat weather took away our energy. Lions's sharp counter attack feared our defense and the middle field was getting empty. Both team could not reach any goal before time up whistle and final score was 1 to 1, draw game. Again, thank you for Lions patient and all you effort to complete the game safely. We are looking forward to see you in next game at second round.