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 Dragons vs AFL Asia Lions Shanghai Showdown curtain closer

It’s an amazing opportunity for Asia’s best local grown talent to take to the field right after an AFL premiership points match in Shanghai.


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.

AFL Asia Lions win 2019 shanghai showdown curtain closer

The AFL Asia Lions turned recent history on it’s head with a groundbreaking performance build on skills, speed and effort to take down the Dragons for the first time ever.

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.

AFL Asia Lions vs Dragons marking closer Shanghai Showdown curtain closer

The game took Asia’s best skills onto center stage and continues to be a highlight of the AFL Experience in China.

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.

AFL Asia Lions fighting in Shanghai Showdown Curtain Closer

The Dragons fought back the Lions strong first half had put too much space between the 2 teams.

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.

AFL Asia Lions Shanghai Evan Spargo

Evan Spargo led the AFL Asia Lions from the front in their breakthrough victory!

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;

Ricky Olarenshaw AFL Asia Shanghai ShoRicky Olarenshaw AFL Asia Shanghai Showdown curtain closerwdown curtain closer

Ricky Olarenshaw AFL Asia Shanghai curtain closer

“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.


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.