That’s certainly an achievement! Only one year after its founding, Saigon Hotshots won his first amateur international tournament. Bangkok Far East tournament is obviously the most recognized football event in South East Asia. Gathering 16 teams from Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand in the open tournament, the level in undoubtedly pretty high as even ex professional players joined several teams.
Ranking fifth last year, only five regular players were returning to Bangkok and already knew they would not make the same mistake than last year. Indeed, staying 5 minutes from the pitch, 10 kilometers from downtown would assure us to stay sober until the end of the tournament. Eventually, it indubitably paid off and everybody was 120% for the whole 2days (Justin would have been proud!).
There were there…
To make sure we have a strong squad, we requested the help of the best player of the SIFL with Saigon Raiders a few years ago: Dominic Schaufler. Scoring the equalizer in semi final and two goals in the final, he has been a key player in reaching the final. His mate Nam has also been a great addition to the team while Dao helped us to strengthen our defense on Sunday’s final stage.
Coming from Malaysia, Tahar, notably famous on the Island for being the main actor of a pretty well done commercial (google Snake+world cup+Malaysia to find the man) joined the team as a guest star. Recruited by Yorro a few months ago in one of Kuala Lumpur’s darkest club, he ended up keeping clean sheet on Saturday and even score a goal in the quarterfinal.
Saigon Hotshots’s recruitment network is undeniably pretty wide so watch out for this long arm guy with his crazy dancing skills. In this club, he is actually recruiting.
Only Vietnamese citizen, representing Sacombank (we indeed look for a sponsor), Trung was playing his first tournament abroad. The recent addition in the Hotshots squad barely said a word during the whole weekend. He was surely focus on not letting anybody score. As a matter of fact, he did it well.
The “bouche trou” man, also the one writing those lines played decently. Playing left back, right back, left midfield and a couple of minutes in the center, Charly made the best decision of his football career by not taking the penalty shootout in the semi final. He notably shot the ball as high as Laurent did last year in the quarterfinal. For my defense, it was not as important as the penalty Laurent missed last year.
Completing our defense, our veteran player: Loic still doesn’t want to play the master of the veteran tournament. We cannot tell his age publicly but nobody could even guess it. Running under the sun as he was still 20years old, he would make his young interns at BigC blushing if they had saw him. Playing together for the last 8 years, we finally won a trophy together, Thanks Loic for always following the team. Like Thierry Roland said “On peut mourir maintenant, le plus tard possible mais on peut”. Our English mates will understand when their national squad wins a world cup. Barz, Barz, Barz
Philippe, our young virgin soul played all the game of the weekend. Still facing stronger opponent than him, he has been strong and played well as he used to.
Nico so dep trai (deserved at least likes from 50 em oi on this picture) did not scored this time as he did outrageously in Manilla. Neither on the pitch nor on soi Cow Boy, our Franco-German mate stayed quiet. However, he now has a “pied a terre” in Bangkok and we all know what it means…
Ryan eventually got his Mac Book Pro and will rock Saigon with kick ass sound. The weekend mission is indeed accomplished and he actually now only has “twenty dollars in his pocket” and a Thai keyboard computer! This tune has been a pain in the ass for the whole weekend but it will stay as the Hotshots 2k13 anthem in Bangkok.
This weekend would not have been the same without Alexis. We had our Raph in Phnom Pen, we had Alexis in Bangkok. Obviously not the best scorer we could find, he certainly scared opponent with his style. Perfect tan, the perfect “meche” and proudly wearing Horacio Caine’s sun glasses while warming up, Alexis was not there to score goals, playing football is another concept for him. We wish you good luck in Paris, you will bring Laurent to the Parc des Prince and tell him that you bring back the cup from Bangkok!
Our guy from “Ivoirie” unfortunately could not play this weekend. However, his injured knee did not prevent him to dance like crazy on Sunday night and then waking me up to ask for painkiller. Nevertheless, Ivory Coast was represented and a killer he has been on the side. Managing the team and arguing with opponent coach, Yorro also took the best pictures of the tournament for us but also for Olympique that now had the most beautiful Facebook page they even had. Besides, thanks to us, they have trace of their missed penalty shooting.
Kevin, our captain, made an important decision this weekend. He did not drink more than 3 beers on Friday night. Consequently, he was in shape and played, as he is capable of when he is sober. It has definitely been such a long time we haven’t such a beautiful volley and a smashing header on top of everybody. Notably, Kevin shacked referee hand and seemingly pee on a Saints shirt after we found hair from a Saint’s ass on one of our shirt.
Last year, Antoine injured himself for the first game. Changing position to goalkeeper to show off his jump skills (for the picture) and approximate ball catching, he already helped us to reach the final in Phnom Penh last year. This weekend, he is definitely the Hero who brought us to the final after an amazing save in the semi final penalty shootouts. Viet can worry for his position; Saigon Hotshots has two great goalkeepers that Olympique is still trying to recruit.
The last few words will be for our captain Fitzie and this cup is dedicated to him! He could have played the master cup and win it by himself. Fitter than anybody else in the team, our boot camp instructor did not have time to disgust our opponents with his skills. Probably the only way to stop our captain; a French asshole from Hanoi Drink Team headbutted our captain after 5minutes of our first game. We all remember the one from Zidane on Materrazzi during the world cup final, this was pretty much the same move but Fitzie ended up at the hospital for 12 stitches and sadly ended his tournament here.
An amazing weekend to conclude, we all had a great time and look forward for next year edition!
A small recap of our games:
Saigon Hotshots 1–0 Hanoi Drink Team
We have been pretty much disgusted the aggression on Fitzie has only be awarded a yellow card. We continue to play and finally scored 5minutes before the end of the game after a great cross from Yorro for Kevin’s volley.
Saigon Hotshots 1-0 German All Start Bangkok
A pretty good team that reach the final. Very physical, we could have conceded a goal on the numerous set pieces our opponent had in the second half. Nam scored from a nice shot 20meters on the left side of the box. It could have been a cross to Yorro but he missed it and masked the goalkeeper. The ball went in and we were pretty sure to qualify for the quarterfinal.
It was confirmed a few hours later after we learnt than Latini withdrew because they missed to many players. We could rest and prepare for the next day
Saigon Hotshots 4-2 Lunatics Shenzhen – Quarter Final
A disputed game although we were a much better team. Loic scored the first, Tahar the second while Kevin Fox scored the two last one. A great header and an easy one after a great work from Dominik.
Saigon Hotshots 1-1 (4-3 penalty) Finaxys – Semi Final
Probably the best team of the tournament, they eliminated Olympique in Quarter Final after penalty shootouts also. They opened the score with a header after a good run from their fast winger. We equalized soon after with a great movement between Kevin and Dominik. We suffered in the second half and hope that Antoine bring us to the Final. Dominik, Kevin, Tahar and Dao scored while Antoine saved the fourth one from Finaxys.
Saigon Hotshots 2-0 German All Star Bangkok – Final
We found this German team back in the final. Domink scored twice while we missed a couple of other opportunities. We did not play very well in this game but we also were not endangered. The semi final looked more difficult and we finally enjoyed the winning dance from Yorro with the dinner buffet.
All pictures are available on this facebook album.