Match Report for Summer Palace vs Lao Hu Inter played on Saturday 22nd October, Chaoyang Stadium
On a hazy saturday morning where the smoke (and effects) from the Wudaokou Korean BBQ night still lingered in the Beijing sky, only 6 guys (and a lady) were present half an hour before kickoff. However, the smoky skies meant that sunscreen wasnt needed for the midday game as Ben rightly said, ‘the pollution will do the job’. Nevertheless, the remaining players arrived in time and Palace was able to field a good 11 against a youthful Lao Hu side, whose starting 11’s average age seem to be half that of Palace’s.
The game started with Lao Hu using their speed and agility to move the ball around and across looking to penetrate any gaps in the Palace defense. Lao Hu dominated majority of the possession but could find no way through the well drilled and organised Palace team. They were restricted to the occasional long shots from outside the area, and tested Jason on 2 occassions, who pulled off first a brilliant diving save from a swerving dipping shot which bounced right in front of him. The 2nd on was equally as brilliant, saving from a first time shot by Lao Hu’s star midfielder as it threatened to dip right under the bar. It wasnt all one way traffic though as Palace threatened through the indomitable, undestructible Olly as he gave the Lao Hu centrebacks a very hard time. On a blistering Palace couterattack, Lee Russell managed to beat their centreback and goalkeeper only to see his shot hit the post.
The 2nd half was a diffferent story though as Lao Hu turned up the tempo as Palace started to show their age. However, Lao Hu’s very talented midfielders found it difficult to get past Palace’s gritty midfielders and anything that went through were either efficiently swept up by the defense or kept out by Peter’s ‘stylish’ sliding tackle technique. On the few occassions they managed to fashion up chances, they just could not find an answer to Jason ‘Great American Wall of China’, who sealed the draw for us with a point blank last minute save from 5 metres out.
So 0-0 was the final score, possibly the first time a Palace’s game ended without a goal being scored.
Following tradition, the guys (and a lady) proceeded to Luga’s where discussions were dominated not about the game, but about cheeses, sausages and milk? Nevertheless, MOTM was awarded to Jason Dorey for his goalkeeping heroics (after a close battle with Olly and Peter) while Lee Russell was voted Donkey (by a distance) for his involvement in ‘milf’ and ‘shoes’?? Lee sportingly downed a shot of milk, along with the B52 after that, to ‘celebrate our tie’