Dongguan International Football League (Summer Series) – Part One

Dongguan International Football League (Summer Series) – Part One

The Dongguan International Football League has switched venues from I.S.D. to a field in XiPing. Here are some key shots of the games.

Tuesday 2nd May:
Game 1: Dongcheng MFC 9-1 Houjie CMFC, 8pm kick off

[Report by Aaron Lowe]

18” Sonnekus                              34” Castro

24” Tendero

28” Solly

29” Lowe

44” Costa

51” Lowe

60” Tendero

61” Lowe

63” Ruben

The first game of the Dongguan International league kicked off between Dongcheng MFC and MFC Houjie Cityzens, as the two sister clubs battled it out for the first points of the season.


The opening 10 minutes of the game saw Dongcheng holding a monopoly over possession, but finding it difficult to break through a well-drilled and committed Houjie defense. Too often during the opening exchanges promisingmoves between Ruben, Costa, Lucho and Lowe came to nothing or the final ball was found wanting. Dongcheng who were without Zurcher and Stepanyan were unable to manufacture the final ball needed to complete the attack.


It was in fact Houjie, who on the counter looked the more threatening. On the 15minute mark the team led by HubHao’s own John Acton should have taken the lead.  A sweeping counter attack started by the impressive McCallum; found Oggy in miles of space facing only the sprawling arms of Vandendriessche. However, pressure from the big Belgian was enough to cause the Serbian to curl his shot against the post and thus saving the blushes of Smith and Solly, whose defensive positioning was all over the place.


Nearly conceding forced team captain Ruben into a change as he sent Sonnekus and Tendero onto the field. The change almost paid off immediately as an energized Tendero grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. The Spaniard repeatedly charged at the Houjie defense with only the heroics of Monkman denying him his first goal of the season.


It was, however, Sonnekus who was able to finally break the deadlock as his first time shot bounced off the post and then back of an unfortunate Monkman to opening the scoring. Dongcheng then took command of the game and began to relentlessly press Houjie as both Costa and Tendero went close. And itwas the later that punished Acton’s team with a low finish into the bottom right corner. At this point Dongcheng were in full flow, and playing with a confidence and composure expected from a team possessing such quality.


28th minute arguably produced the games best moment. Richard Solly on his debut collected the ball at left back and then proceeded to run the length of the pitch driving directly towards the goal. Within seconds Solomon found himself 1 on 1 with the keeper and without hesitation the Englishmen fired an unstoppable shot passed Wes Monkman.


The game was arguably put out of the reach of Houjie on the 29”minute as Lowe scored Dongcheng’s fourth goal as he collected a brilliant crossfield pass from Sonnekus on the left flank. The number 7 then skipped passed a rushing John Acton before firing the shot hard and low into the bottom rightcorner.


Houjie, however, did manage to ruin Bram Vandendriessche’s day, as defensive confusion between Dongcheng’s back line enabled Castro to clip the ball passed a stranded Vandendriessche, denying the Belgium a clean sheet.


In the second half Dongcheng looked more in control, and Costa confirmed the win by bursting from midfield to round the keeper and put the game beyond Houjie. Further goals from Ruben, Tendero and a second half doublefrom Lowe flattered Dongcheng as they ran out comfortable winners sending them top of the table.

Tuesday 2nd May:
Game 2: You Men Lu 6-1 Nancheng MFC, 9:15pm kick off

[Report by Aaron Lowe]

The second match of the night saw the debut of You Men Lu, a new team to the Dongguan International League, and a team that came with a great reputation after two impressive friendly displays against Dongcheng MFC. The game began at a frantic pace with both teams enjoying good spells. During the opening exchanges, it was Nancheng who were looking more dangerous. Rostislav Brezin and Werner Wentz were moving the ball well and causing the You Men Lu back line problems. In truth, Nancheng were incredibly unlucky to have not taken the lead. Juan Mejia (Mr Devil) was guilty of wasting some good opportunities. Nevertheless, the movement of Werner, Brezin and Mr Devil was a cause of concern for You Men Lu, who looked taken back by the tenacity of their opponents.

However, the quality of You Men Lu cannot be denied. As the game went on You Men Lu began to take a stronger hold. However, Alex, playing in his familiar CB position was solid, helped by an impressive Richard MT who was making his Nancheng debut. Barry Nwankwo was also having an excellent game, strong at the back and dangerous moving forward. However, the sheer quality of You Men Lu was too much for Nancheng.  You Men Lu’s number 9 unleashed an incredible right-footed rocket into the top corner of Chiu’s net. Unstoppable.


You Men Lu are known for their long-range shooting, unable to break through Nancheng’s defence, the Chinese team tried their luck from range – their long-distance shooting is impressive. You Men Lu launched a flurry of attempts from distance. Their second was a tad fortunate, but there was nothing lucky about their third. Coming in from the left their number 2 curled an amazing effort inside the top right corner, certainly one for the cameras.

Nancheng railed and refused to give in, and were terribly unlucky not get on the score sheet as they wasted a number of good opportunities. However, much to Nancheng’s frustrations, it was instead, You Men Lu who extended their lead even further, with yet again another goal from distance. Nancheng did finally pull one back through Werner Wentz from close range. Nancheng increased their intensity and would have been right back into the game if not for the inspired goalkeeping of You Men Lu’s Michael.

The game continued to follow a similar pattern with Nancheng pressing hard. However, You Men Lu’s finishing from distance proved too much as they smashed another two goals into Nancheng’s net to put the game beyond doubt. Nevertheless, the game was an interesting watch for the spectator.

Monday 8th May
Game 1: You Men Lu 0-2 Dongcheng MFC, 7:45pm Kick off

The Dragon Boat Festival is not until the end of the month but that didn’t stop these two teams cooking up football’s answer to water polo. Aaron Lowe, pulled on his waders, and was onsite to report.
Mother Nature clearly isn’t a fan of tika-taka football as rained poured down onto the pitch two minutes before kick-off.  The sudden change in weather was rather surprising, considering earlier that day Dongguan was basking in sunshine; a great example of the unpredictability of the Guangdong climate.
You Men Lu and Dongcheng MFC both consider themselves favourites for the league, and the opening exchanges demonstrated the clear respect between the two teams. Ruben Lopez had made the decision to shake up Dongcheng’s formation and starting personnel. In came Karen Stepanyan to replace the injured Richard Solomon with Aaron Lowe being pushed out wide right in an unfamiliar wing back role. Ruben also changed his own position, deciding to play out wide left, in-an-effort-to stem, You Men Lu’s attacking threat.
The first 15 minutes indicated that the changes were working as Dongcheng started the brighter of the two teams, knocking the ball around with confidence, looking to strike early before conditions deteriorated further.  Within the opening 10 minutes Dongcheng created the first clear opening. Calum Smith fizzed the ball down the right-hand channel for Lowe to chase. The number 7, not known for his pace, managed to burst past the You Men Lu defender, before sliding Jorge through on goal. Unfortunately for Dongcheng, the Spaniard was unable to control his shot with his attempt flying high over the crossbar.
You Men Lu began to slowly stamp their authority over the game, with their wingers forcing both Ruben and Lowe into more defensive work than they would like. Li Yi Song and Shen Wei were both causing Dongcheng defensive problems. The movement of Wang Zhi Hao and You Men Lu captain Chen Jian Min was continuing to force Dongcheng MFC into some desperate defending.
As the first half progressed the conditions worsened, and the water on the pitch slowed the movement of the ball, forcing players to adopt a style that would impress Premier League manager Tony Pulis.
In the 22nd minute the deadlock was finally broken. Costa broke away down the right-hand side and fired a hopeful ball across the face of You Men Lu’s box, the conditions causing confusion as their centre-back unwittingly poked the ball past a stranded Lao Sheng Yi to put Dongcheng 1-0 up at the break.
As the teams came out for the second half, the football pitch more closely resembled that of a half-drained swimming pool; puddles of water could be seen everywhere. Nevertheless, both teams continued to battle on as the game became a long ball-kicking contest. At the beginning of the second half You Men Lu began to enjoy more of the ball, forcing Bram Vandendriesshe into several smart saves. However, it was Dongcheng who instead extended their lead on the 46th minute. Ruben Lopez picked up the ball in the left back position, took a touch, then smashed a delightful cross-field ball into the path of Aaron Lowe, who, with the help of a rather large puddle of water, hit the ball first time into the bottom right corner, squeezing the ball under an unfortunate Lao Sheng Yi. Taking the striker’s tally to 4 goals in 2 games.
You Men Lu looked to strike back immediately and bombarded Dongcheng’s box with long balls from every angle. However, both Karen and Smith handled these attacks expertly, assisted defensively by substitute Tafa, who was making his Dongcheng debut. During the final 10 minutes Dongcheng sat back, content to defend their two-goal lead. However, You Men Lu were extremely unlucky not to pull a goal back as Chen Jian Min found himself unmarked in the box. The Chinese striker twisted and turned, leaving 2 or 3 Dongcheng players on the ground before Vandendriesshe rushed out to save a point-blank shot from the number 11.
Final Score: You Men Lu 0-2 Dongcheng MFC

Monday 15th May
Nancheng MFC 4-3 Houjie MFC


Contests between these two teams are renowned for their feistiness and this match didn’t disappoint, easily becoming the best and most entertaining game of the league so far.


Houjie showed glimpses of quality in their previous game against Dongcheng MFC and they improved on that performance considerably. Riley had come into the team to support CMAC in defense and the move brought considerable stability to the Houjie back line. There were also debuts for the speedy Nicola who impressed on the right wing. The Italian’s pace caused Nancheng a number of problems and was a threat throughout the game.


Despite Houjie’s impressive start to the game it was Nancheng who took the lead. Danny making his Nancheng debut found space on the edge of the box and curled a ball from the right into the top left corner. It was a strange ball that managed to slowly float past Igor in the Houjie goal.


Nancheng then took a hold of the game and managed to double their lead through Yura who thrashed a half volley finish past a helpless Igor. The game seemed destined to run the same course as Houjie previous outing with them capitulating after a promising start. However, a stroke of luck gave Houjie a lifeline, as Nancheng’s Leo smashed the ball into his own net off Wes Monkman’s hopeful cross.


Houjie, buoyed by the goal pushed for an equalizer, and it came off a truly inspirational CMAC cross-field pass.  The defender picked up the ball in the left back position and floated a pinpoint cross-filed ball onto the chest of Nicola; who made no mistake and smashed the ball home for the equalizer. Nancheng should have snatched the lead on the stroke of half time, but were faced by a determined Igor and Johns Burns, whose last ditch blocks kept the scores level.


In the second half Houjie again started the brighter and controlled possession, moving the ball nicely around the pitch. Despite their patches of good play Houjie were unable to get the better of Alex who was at his classic best, sniffing out danger and dictating play confidently from the back. Arguably against the run of play Nancheng managed to take the lead. Richard MT after some questionable defending smashed the ball home much to the delight of his teammates. Nancheng soon extended their lead through Yura; who dropped to his knees in celebration or possibly relief as he tapped home from close range.


Wes Monkman kept Nancheng honest, as Monkman scored the best goal of the game. The Canadian ran with the ball from his own half past two Nancheng defenders before sliding is passed an oncoming Chu.


Houjie did have late chances to level but unable to find a way past Chu as Nancheng recover from their previous defeat to take their first points of the season.



Xiping Football League


League rules


  1. 60 minutes per game (two x 30 minute halves with a 5 minute half time break)
  2. The game format is 7-a-side, including the goalkeeper
  3. Rolling substitutions are allowed but can only be made at the halfway line when the ball is out of play and after the referee has given permission.
  4. The matches will be played using a size 5 football.
  5. All fouls will be direct free kicks. This is to avoid any confusion at all and this is the same across the board, so each team knows this and is aware.  This includes: Handballs, Dangerous Tackles, Dangerous Kicks, and any fouls inside the box are direct as well.  Meaning a PK will be awarded.
  6. Offside will be in effect for all games. Linesmen will be provided
  7. No slide challenges, all tacklers must be on their feet.
  8. Throw-ins are taken with the hands and follow the traditional method of application
  9. If a player receives a red card, it will be at the discretion of the head referee as to how many games that player will miss.
  10. Any negative language toward an official will not be tolerated and will be immediately met with a yellow card. The only players that should be talking to the official are the captains of each team.
  11. At half time and at the end of the game captains of each team may approach the referee and ask for clarification regarding decisions made.
  12. All the players should give respect to each other. If anybody abuses people he will be given a yellow card.


League Structure


The Xiping Football League is a mini league consisting of 5 teams; we hope this will be the first of many leagues that we organize together and next time we hope to extend the number of teams.


  • 5 teams
  • All teams will play each other twice with a total of 10 rounds for each team
  • If after 10 rounds the teams are level on points then the top two teams with the highest goal difference will enter a 1 game play off to determine the winner. If after 60 minutes the scores are level then the contest will be decided by penalties.
  • There will be two games played during each match night.
    • Game 1 at 7:45pm and Game 2 at 9:00
  • Each match will have one referee and two linesmen

点此阅读中文: Chinese (Simplified)

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