Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 60 - Ultimate[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:32]
Chapter 60: Ultimate
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As pedestrians and people who had been preparing for a nice day out cursed the bloody weather, the same applied to the two teams on the Yingcai soccer field.
The wet ground meant that Ma Ni could not freely use his 90 Degrees move. There was an occasion when he attempted it, and while he did prod the ball away, without a stable supporting foot, he slipped and fell, losing the ball in the process.
However, during the few times that he slipped, there had been Shu Guang players around him. The referee would then quickly follow-up with a whistle for a Shu Guang foul. Already fed up with his shenanigans, the Shu Guang team did not bother to argue—as long as there were no penalties or bookings, they would let him do as he wished.
In the second half, Yang Pan was a changed man. He would swing his leg to shoot once he got the ball, no matter where he was!
His first drive knocked against the goalpost. It left the post quaking for some time and sprayed mud across the faces of Yingcai defenders who stood nearby. After that, no one stood guard to block his shots whenever he prepared to shoot—their lives hung in the balance.
Every shot that whistled past them also seemed to strike deep into the Yingcai players’ morale, and Sima Hongxin’s as well.
The keeper breathed heavily under the rain, unable to recall how many times he was beseiged by Yang Pan. Each time he saw the ball flying towards him, he would instinctively dive towards it. He kept it out regardless of whether he was using his hands, feet or body.
He initially stood firmly, but soon, he was struggling to pick himself off the muddy ground. Still, he would return to his stance in front of the goalpost every single time.
Zhang Jun turned around. It had been Sima Hongxin who said that.
“It’s useless. He’s already tried so many times. He’s never going to score! As long as I’m here, you people won’t score!”
Zhang Jun smiled.
Eleven minutes into the second half.
Shu Guang stole the ball in the midfield and went on a fast break. Kaka passed to Yang Pan, who sprinted up alone. The rain did not impede his speed, and the Yingcai defense kept retreating farther behind due to his ferocious dribble.
Once he got to the semi-circled edge of the box, Yang Pan took a shot!
The motion of his foot pulled his whole body into the air, and the ball thundered across the field!
This time, it was a direct shot! Sima Hongxin leaped with his hand stretched towards it.
The ball hit him and bounced out, but the keeper fell inside the goal!
Zhang Jun dashed at the rebound. At the shocked gasps of the Yingcai fans, who finally realized what was going on, he spread his body and bent like a bow preparing to unleash an arrow!
This time, every Yingcai player—including Ma Ni and Sima Hongxin, who was still laying inside the net—could only watch as the ball flew in and hit the back of the net forcefully.
It went in!
This time, Yang Pan was not offside, Zhang Jun was not offside and there was not a single foul play on Shu Guang’s part. Reluctantly, the referee awarded the goal.
Kaka rushed in and slammed the ball back into the goal viciously.
Zhang Jun stepped in front of Sima Hongxin. “He never intended to score from the start, he was creating a chance for me.”
“It can’t be…”
“We were waiting for the moment you’d be knocked behind your post!”
In no time at all, Zhang Jun was mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
As usual, Su Fei screamed and jumped up excitedly, cheering at the top of her lungs alongside the substitutes in the rain.
Even the quiet Liang Ke showed a hint of a smile.
Along with the other Yingcai players, Ma Ni could feel the distinct danger that lay ahead with the recent turn of events. Even the Yingcai fans on the stands were gradually losing decibels— they had felt the lopsided nature of the competition. There were even occasions where the team needed the referee’s blatant help to not concede more goals.
Furthermore, Yingcai was being pressed down into its own half.
It also meant that Ma Ni’s pre-match analysis had been proven.
“…they’re only scary if the team is focused. But once they scatter, they won’t be a danger.”
The first part of it, at the very least; The Shu Guang team was not only focused, it was extremely focused.
As for the second part, Ma Ni would most likely be unable to see it for himself in this game.
The rain was decreasing in volume once more. However, the surface of the pitch was as muddy as ever, especially on Yingcai’s half. Both teams had been playing there so intensely that the landscape was devastated. Shu Guang had to decrease their dribbles accordingly and play more passes—it was too easy to lose the ball in such conditions.
They began to play elevated balls, crossing each time they made a breakthrough, or lobbing at 45° angles into the box. Zhang Jun was a specialist in aerial duels, a holistic player and an accomplished header of the ball. Kaka would slip behind the lines to get a header as well; his 186-cm height was a significant advantage.
There was such a cluster of attacks in front of Yingcai’s goal that it felt like a battlefield filled with bullets and shells darting around. Their defenders were left helpless in these aerial duels—they could never get to the ball even if they jumped. The most they could do was act as running interference.
Nonetheless, Sima Hongxin was still there.
Zhang Jun’s goal clearly did not have much of an effect on the keeper. He kept himself busy, a silent guardian between the two vertical posts; it would not do to just crumble from a single goal.
Still, with the incessant passes to the flanks, and crosses, the Yingcai defense was growing weary.
All of a sudden, Kaka lobbed an overhead pass!
Zhang Jun moved promptly behind the defenders!
Understanding the threat of his sudden burst of speed, Sima Hongxin dared not tarry and charged out!
Zhang Jun managed to squeeze out a shot!
Sima Hongxin jumped to block!
The ball was slapped away by the keeper, but both players collided!
Su Fei’s chest tightened and she only breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Zhang Jun jumping up quickly and helping Sima Hongxin to his feet.
The referee ran over to give Zhang Jun a verbal warning for charging at the goalkeeper, but there was nobody left who cared about the clown anymore.
“Sima Hongxin, measuring at 197 cm tall and weighing at 96 kg,” Chen Huafeng had reverted to his self-mumbling mode again. “He’s adept at diving to keep out low shots despite that body of his. He seems to have a way in handling technical strikers like Zhang Jun. Well, we’ll have to see what Zhang Jun can do to break past the monster’s fingers…”
Hongxin was indeed a problem for Zhang Jun.
There were 20 minutes left, but he still needed to score twice. The gigantic keeper in front of him was still calm and composed despite conceding a goal. He was functioning normally. Without a single opening to offer, how could he put the ball behind him?
Zhang Jun then remembered the ball he slyly slipped past An Ke about a month ago. He had no inkling if it would work now, because he had not used it in a proper match—there was no telling if he could make it work on the first time.
However, he looked down and saw the bracelet Su Fei had wrapped around his wrist. She must have made it herself , he thought. It also looked like it would have taken quite some time to make one.
He lifted his head and assured himself, “I can do this! This trick will definitely work! Definitely!”
Be that as it may, it appeared that he did not have a chance to unleash it since Shu Guang was still playing an aerial game. He could only become a bomber himself most of the time.
Time flowed with the rain. Five minutes passed, but the stalemate was yet to be broken.
Wang Ning intercepted the ball in the midfield and passed!
He was then stunned to find that it was not Kaka who got to the ball, instead it was Zhang Jun!
Everyone else was shocked as well; they had no idea what he was up to.
Zhang Jun turned and dribbled the ball, moving it alone towards the Yingcai area.
Out of nowhere, a defender came up with a sliding tackle at the edge of the penalty area!
Zhang Jun did not even look before he prodded the ball to the left with his left foot. Using his right as a support and springboard, he burst in the direction of the ball and broke through!
Another defender quickly came in to support, but Zhang Jun repeated the same move and dribbled away from him too!
It was the 90 Degrees move!
The crowd was in an uproar!
Only Sima Hongxin remained unmoved as he waited calmly in front of the goal.
Zhang Jun’s two quick turns had set him on a course towards the goalpost; he dribbled on.
The ball never left his feet, but Sima Hongxin did not come forward rashly either. If it had not been for Zhang Jun’s hair blocking his field of vision in that vital moment of the first half, the goal would have counted and the score would have been 2: 2.
Zhang Jun was in the middle of the box when he abruptly shot with his right foot in the middle of his run!
While the move was swift, Sima Hongxin still dived towards the ball on his left with agility.
However, there was no ball! It vanished!
Sima Hongxin kept his eyes wide opened. He was sure that he never took his eyes off the ball, but he was also sure that the ball was not coming towards him!
He then saw Zhang Jun leaping into the air, before noticing the ball flying out from behind the striker and into the goal!
It went in!
There were no other sounds around the stadium other than the sound of rain and the referee blowing his whistle to signal the goal. The spectators, who had barely recovered from Zhang Jun’s version of 90 Degrees were quickly rendered speechless once more by that insane goal.
Everything played out like a slow-motion video in the rain.
Sima Hongxin, looked back as he dropped to the muddy ground, splashing himself in the face.
Zhang Jun landed clumsily, but he did not fall. He turned to glance at the ball in the net, and then the referee before sprinting off in celebration after ascertaining that it was a goal.
At the same time, everyone else including both sets of players were still dumbfounded. There were no celebrations, no jeers and no screams from Su Fei.
Yang Pan was the first to react; his holler was deafening in the silent pitch.
An Ke joined in too; it was the shot against him a month ago—the one he failed to comprehend; the shot that Zhang Jun had declared was his ultimate move.
And then, the entire Shu Guang team and their bench exploded.
In the twenty-sixth minute of the second half, Zhang Jun bagged a brace with an astonishing shot, which shattered the shield that was Sima Hongxin, thus levelling the scores for Shu Guang!
Chen Huafeng was as dumbfounded as everyone else. He did not even notice that he had dropped his umbrella.
“Xiao Zhang! Xiao Zhang! Did you see that? Did you see how the goal was scored?”
Xiao Zhang nodded. “I saw it. But to be frank, I really couldn’t believe it!”
The rain slowly calmed the excited Chen Huafeng as he picked up his umbrella.
“I’m asking you because I wasn’t sure! I can’t believe that you saw the same thing too. He is genuinely terrifying if that goal wasn’t a fluke or an accidental move!”
“And then there was that 90 Degrees move! He just saw it in the first half, right? But, how? How was he able to use it himself in such a short amount of time?”
“It’s his learning ability. It’s a supernatural learning ability! That’s why he’s so scary! Didn’t you see how perfectly he fused Ma Ni’s 90 Degrees together with his own shot? This kid! If he does go to Europe in the future, what a sensation he’ll be in the global soccer scene…”
Ma Ni looked at the scoreboard unhappily; it was his worst fear—those Shu Guang bastards really turned the game around. Now that they had their rhythm, the remaining game…
He glanced at Sima Hongxin, his two-year acquaintance. It was the first time he saw him in such a ragged state; his entire face was covered in mud and his face was completely drenched.
No matter how much he wanted to deny it, he felt jitters from the goal just now. He could never have scored like that, or to be precise, he could not have even pictured a goal like that! And there was also the 90 Degrees move, which he had trained so long and hard for. It was copied and combined with that shot so perfectly after only being seen once by Zhang Jun…
No. 11, Zhang Jun!
Was he really going to lose just like that? Was his soccer going to lose out like this?
Ma Ni was still hovering around absentmindedly when Yingcai restarted the game.
2: 2, the teams were levelled with 14 minutes left.