The 3rd AFL Asia Shanghai Curtain Closer match has seen the AFL Asia Lions have finally break through on the big stage with a comprehensive 21 point victory against the AFL Asia Dragons (Team AFL China Dragons) following the Port Adelaide Football Club and St. Kilda Football Game at Jiangwan Stadium (Adelaide Arena) on Sunday.
AFL ASIA SHANGHAI CURTAIN CLOSER III MATCH REPORT
The AFL Asia Dragons had won the previous two annual encounters and were favourites going into the match, but were upstaged and outplayed by the AFL Asia Lions from the outset, who were aided by a two goal breeze in the opening 20 minute first half.
The AFL Asia Lions kicked a scurry of goals within the first 10 minutes of the match on the back of fast running football, ferocious tackling and by winning important possessions in dispute and as a result went into the half time break with an impressive 32 point lead.
With the wind at their backs, the AFL Asia Dragons mounted a come back in the second half and added some much needed respect to their cause in the process, but unfortunately were too far adrift on the scoreboard, as the AFL Asia Lions finished off their team focused display posting a 21 point victory in the end.
The AFL Asia Lions were superbly led by Captain Evan Spargo, whose courageous marks and damaging disposals were sensational, Michito Sakaki was outstanding with his work-ethic and decision making, whilst Ruckman Yudai Yamaji controlled the aerial contests, Winner Santos used all of experience and was brilliant off of his back flank, Junpei Ito was an absolute bull at ground level and Joshua Andrianto Janus was a real livewire up forward with 2 goals, amongst a fantastic team performance.
For the AFL Asia Dragons, Jamie Pi was hard at around the contests and played his heart out, Chen Shu Kai played his role in trying to contain the AFL Asia Lions Captain in the second half, AFL Asia Rising Star Award recipient Liu Rong continued his strong vein of form and was rewarded for effort, whilst Deng Xiao Yu used his running capacity and strength to his team’s advantage.
Former AFL Premiership Player and AFL Asia Lions Coach Ricky Olarenshaw was delighted with his chargers;
“The boys had a cracking weekend and I loved the challenge of bringing the squad together as it was pure and raw football. Our players certainly deserved their victory on the big stage and the AFL Asia Shanghai Cup Masters Division and I’m very proud of their efforts. I couldn’t split ‘Mitch’ (Michito Sakaki) and ‘Spargs’ (Evan Spargo) as our best player, whilst I really liked our Japanese ruckman’s (Yudai Yamaji) game. JP (Junpei Ito) was very good too as were the Indonesian mosquito-fleet up forward.” Olarenshaw said.
SHANGHAI 2019 AFL ASIA CURTAIN CLOSER SCORES
AFL Asia Lions 5.2 (32) 6.4 (40)
AFL Asia Dragons 0.0 (0) 3.1 (19)
AFL Asia Lions: Joshua Andrianto Janus 2, Yusuke Murata 1, Mahendra Gilang Saputro 1, Yosua Frans Simbolon 1, Josua Esaka Tandilangan 1.
AFL Asia Dragons: Chen Zhu Shen 1, Lin Wen Liang 1, Jiaming Pi 1.
AFL Asia Lions: Michito Sakaki, Evan Spargo, Yudai Yamaji, Winner Santos, Junpei Ito, Joshua Andrianto Janus.
AFL Asia Dragons: Jamie Pi, Chen Shu Kai, Liu Rong, Deng Xiao Yu.