Shanghai ReUnited U16 ended the competition at the third place in the JSSL Singapore international 7s professional academy competition, after an incredible run until the semi final.
The JSSL Singapore international 7s attracted 260 teams and more than 3000 players from 14 country this year , and Shanghai ReUnited was enlisted for the first time.
The debut in the competition was very hard with 2 defeats and one draw in 3 games the first day, starting by a big lose of 4-0 against Chelsea FC soccer school Indonesia, then with a draw game 1-1 vs SCC and close the day by another defeat of 4-1 given by ANZA.
To forget the day, the team chose Bobby’s Restaurant & Bar to have a nice dinner and talk on the best method to handle the second day, while enjoying the heat of the country.
It was a new team made for the tournament who had never played all together before. That was one reason of a first bad day. Lucky that the little time spent at Bobby’s helped to sit and talk to each other a bit, so that ReU young stars Thomas Park (Captain) , Alexander Dyckerhoff , Dusan Marinkovic , Raul Andrei Movila (Andi) , Nicholas Stanig , Jo Seung Hwan (Joshua) , Bastien Coekelberghs , Louis Flint and Nathan James Malet, would know each other better, and understand who was right-footed or left-footed…
The second day was a completely different story . 3 games and 3 convincing win that helped the team to finish 4th of the group C, made of 7 teams, and to be qualified for the Cup finals. The scoreboard had a 3-0 vs Geylang International FC , another 3-0 to JSSL CL1 and 2-1 vs HMFC Johor. We saw a great determination and team work that lead to the victory, with Joshua scoring 5 goals , Dusan 2 , Andi 1 in the second day, and one amazing Nathan James Malet stopping bullets coming from everywhere .
The third and last day of the competition was the knock-out. The boys were ready for the battle early in the morning 8 am against the first in group D carrying a Big name… the “AC Milan Academy Singapore”
All supporters on the field, and family’s fingers at home were crossed. We could see that , we could feel the pressure. It was a WIN to stay alive in the competition or LOSE and move for the airport. But we didn’t have to wait too long when Dusan Marinkovic placed the ball on the top corner on the first free kick. 1-0 lead. The reaction of Milan was very quick and they equalized 1 min later. No one had known what happened on that goal . no one saw it, but it was a goal. The score remained the same till the end.
The rule of the tournament states that in case of draw game on a knock out stage , there is a 3 players VS 3 players match to go, and in case of no goal , every minutes 1 player drop out until 1 vs 1.
ReU had now Nathan , Nick and Joshua to face the great AC Milan and in less than 1 min Nicholas Stanig scored a beautiful goal on counter attack. This was the ticket for the 1/4 finals. At this stage, the team was more confident and has easily won Tampines Rovers FC by a 3-1, again with Joshua (8 goals total in the tournament) and Dusan walking through the opponent defense, accompanied this time by an impressive Alexander Dyckerhoff who didn’t miss the party, by scoring his first goal in the competition , a nice reward for his hard work well done in the midfield.
The last game was the semi final. The team was facing Enhance Sports Global and lost 3-2 after leading 1-0 in a game that could have been won. But nothing in the spirit of the players than a big pride after such a great achievement overall. The fun was there , the quality of the game was there, the challenge was there , the spirit was there, and they players went back home with a great experience.
What a feast of football over that weekend with the JSSL Singapore international 7s ! a great experience and success for the players. Shanghai ReUnited is already planning to WIN it next year.