Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 71 - Battle of the Caged Beasts[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:36]
Chapter 71: Battle of the Caged Beasts
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Jun glanced helplessly at the linesman who held his flag up. It was the sixth time he had been caught offside.
Yao Wang was ever-aware of every move he made—all he needed to do was raise his hand at the right moment, and Zhang Jun would be caught offside.
So, Dingding kept unravelling themselves with openings that lured Shu Guang’s forwards into offside positions at every turn—the loopy space constantly foiled Kaka’s passes to Zhang Jun.
Kaka started to dribble by himself after more of his plays were foiled. However, was Cao Po just some display bauble?
He rushed at the Brazilian, ignoring his feints and slithering in for the ball. After a stumble, Kaka lost possession.
Yao Wang cleared the ball far upfield; Bin Fei headed it back to Fan Cunjie before the captain lobbed it to the left.
Lu Hui sped up to shake Chen Bo off. He got to the ball and crossed it!
Lin Xiaofang headed it off the line just in front of Shi Lei, clearing another dangerous moment in front of Shu Guang’s goalpost.
“Beautiful attack! Dingding’s passes are virtually soaring clouds and flowing springs! All Shu Guang can do is hold them back!”
“That’s for sure. The Dingding team has played together for three years—their synergized maneuvers can be completed in the blink of an eye. They were also calm after being behind now that they’ve equalized, they keep drawing Shu Guang into their offside traps. It’s only a matter of time before they take the lead.”
“Mr. Zhou, you seem confident about this!”
“I believe in Dingding. Not every team earns titles like the ‘Uncrowned Kings’ and ‘Golden Generation.\'”
Dingding had a corner.
Bin Fei, known for his sharp headers, darted everywhere inside the box to look for the right spot; the best opening. The hulking Yao Wang simply stood in front of the post, emanating a huge pressure on the Shu Guang defense.
Fan Cunjie treaded the carpet grass in the corner spot before carefully placing the ball on the ground. He then took a few steps back.
The two teams were a tangled mess in the penalty area; it was a chaotic scene.
Cunjie exhaled. He ran up and with a whirl of his foot, he struck the ball firmly below its center with his inner sole. It rose and curved inwards towards the goalpost.
An Ke pranced out unyieldingly and prepared to quickly catch hold of it. But his eyes blurred as a gigantic shadow vaulted ahead of him. It was Yao Wang!
The keeper’s heart skipped a beat—with that height of his, Yao Wang would score if he reached the ball! Unfortunately, he could only watch as Yao Wang swung his head. There was no way to stop him!
“Yao Wang is in the air! A header! Ah, he didn’t get it in! It’s a miss!”
An Ke was not prepared for the miss. Initially ready to catch the ball, he promptly shifted to punch it away with both fists.
The ball flew away from the box and Kaka went off in pursuit. However, he saw Shi Yan doing the same thing.
Dingding’s No.11 reached it first!
He raised his left foot!
Nonetheless, Kaka pressed on with a sliding tackle! He had to stop the shot even it meant fouling him!
However, Shi Yan struck it first and the ball whistled over Kaka’s head!
“Shi Yan shoots!”
His effort punched through the crowd towards the goal!
An Ke had just dropped to the ground to see the ball coming at him again. He then dived towards it reflexively.
He got to it! But, he could not hold it, and the ball bounced away!
In a cold flash, Bin Fei unleashed his blade! His effort hit the back of the net with a bang!
“He scores! Bin Fei has rallied the team with a goal, 36 minutes into the first half! Shu Guang is dealt a heavy blow!”
“He truly is Bin Fei, outstanding in seizing chances! Dealing a lethal strike to Shu Guang in a chaotic box! Firing in the rebound at the right time and securing the lead for Dingding!”
Bin Fei was the face of excitement after his goal. He quickly dashed to hug Shi Yan, who created the chance in the build-up, before getting into a group hug with the rest of the team.
An Ke sat, silently watching the celebrating Dingding players. He lost his grip when he was absolutely not supposed to一that striker had been waiting all along. He never expected it to be so deadly the moment he could not hold on to the ball…
Zhang Jun stared at the ball in the net, at a lost for words. Should he have consoled his team? Should he have lied with lines like, “Don’t worry, I’ll level the scores.”?
He was knee-deep into the opponent’s offside trap himself; it would not fly. Maybe, “It’s alright, don’t worry.”一although what use was there for such words?
Ren Yu De swept off a pinch of sweat and told Kaka quietly, “Pass me the ball when the time comes.”
Kaka looked at him with a startled expression.
“I’m the most suitable when it comes to beating their offside trap.” Ren Yu De smiled.
Kaka could clearly feel that Ren Yu De was getting worn down. The difficult battles they faced along the way had been shaving off a lot of his meager strength. Plus, Dingding’s offside stratagem in the first half had rendered him almost incapable of running back.
Despite that, he nodded to his teammate.
Thirty-six minutes into the first half, Dingding flipped the scores and led the game with a score of 2:1 over Shu Guang.
Liang Ke stayed at the coach’s seat, looking steady as a rock.
Nobody knew what he was thinking一not playing his best lineup from the start had cost his team to fall behind, and he had yet to let Yang Pan on the pitch. With Shu Guang’s default captain still missing, everyone began to raise different conjectures.
A number of reporters had already thought of their bottom page headline for Monday, wrapping the title “Strife Between Captain and Coach Costs Shu Guang the Semi-Final!” with a bolded, bright crimson font. How prominent would the title be! And, how shocking would the news be!
In fact, most of them had already surmised that a Shu Guang defeat was a foregone conclusion; even though there were still four minutes left in the first half and they were only a goal down.
“We’re finally here!” Zhang Yang breathed as he plonked himself down on his seat. “It would be a pity if we miss this game!”
“That face! Who was the one who napped until three?” Zhang Lintao rolled his eyes at him.
“Who was that? F*ck! Come out, I’ll chop you up! Disturbing me watching the game!” Zhang Yang roared and seethed as though someone had murdered his father.
Speechless, Zhang Lintao tilted his head away, before exclaiming, “Huh? Li Yongle! Look!” He pointed towards the scores on the huge screen.
Li Yongle saw it; the huge “2: 1” was extremely conspicuous, with “2” being written below Dingding and “1” below Shu Guang.
“Eh? Shu Guang’s behind?” Zhang Yang noticed it too.
“Kids, you just arrived?” A middle-aged man next to them asked. “Dingding has turned the game around. Shu Guang scored first, but Dingding scored twice in 10 minutes after that.”
“Two goals in 10 minutes…” Zhang Lintao mumbled.
Zhang Yang slid a peek at the silent Li Yongle; but of course, his friend was lost in his thoughts.
The man continued, “The commentator also kept saying that Dingding has pretty much won the game. And for whatever reason, Yang Pan isn’t here…”
“Yang Pan isn’t here? He’s not playing?” Zhang Lintao asked. In Zhongyuan, Li Yongle was especially attentive about Zhang Jun, while he himself was fixated upon Yang Pan.
“Yeah. There’s no explanation given. Furthermore, he wasn’t in the starting lineup or the bench. Dingding will definitely win if things stay like this一”
“No!” Li Yongle cut him off curtly. “Shu Guang won’t lose! They still have Zhang Jun!”
“Zhang Jun? No way! He’s been ensnared by Dingding’s offside trap that was designed with him in mind!”
“Zhang Jun is a beast that cannot be caged. The final victory definitely belongs to Shu Guang!”
“Uh, which school are you guys from?”
“Dear sir, we’re from Zhongyuan Technical,” Zhang Yang answered very politely.
Knowing that Zhang Jun would be offside once more, Kaka passed the ball to Ren Yu De on the other end.
The striker then carried the ball. Even though he had not seen much of the ball since the start, he had been burning up all his strength from futile runs back and forth. This time, he did not pass, instead he kept running forward with the ball!
Su Rui followed him, so did Tang Liang and Shi Yan. Dingding was approaching Ren Yu De, attempting to encircle their quarry.
Ren Yu De put his right leg in front of the ball and Su Rui reacted with a jitter. He was a player billed as the next best dribbler behind his captain after all!
Tang Liang closed in.
There was not a moment to lose!
Ren Yu De feinted a kick with his right, his foot stepping over the ball. Su Rui expected it and did not move. Yu De pulled back, but when he tried to pull the ball back, he slipped in a little toe nudge. The ball then rolled up front!
Chance!, Su Rui thought, believing that his patience finally paid off with an opening. He stretched out his leg to challenge for the ball. However in a flash, Ren Yu De moved, turned, pulled away and shook him off!
It was a mimic of Fan Cunjie’s Turn-and-Pull!
“Beautiful!” Wang Qiang could not hold back his praise.
“Well… as expected of the second best to Fan Cunjie. His technique is definitely outstanding!”
After Su Rui, Ren Yu De now faced Tiang Liang.
Knowing that his opponent had just accelerated and was not dashing at him, all Tang Liang needed to do was hold his position. After that, he would use his body and force him to slow down in order to guard him effectively. Hence, he did not run at him. He waited as Ren Yu De turned and cut him off in the process.
To his delight, Ren Yu De did slow down. However, he suddenly turned his back to his marker. As Tang Liang was caught in a moment of confusion, the attacker did a reverse nutmed with his right heel and the ball rolled off between his legs!
Turning once more, Ren Yu De ran to his left!
“Ex-Exciting! A three-pronged turn and a stealthy backheel to shake off Tang Liang! Ren Yu De! Truly the second best when it comes to technique! His feet are as agile and impressive as an elf!” At long last, the commentator poured a rare praise on Shu Guang.
Nevertheless, Ren Yu De did not leave the entire Dingding defense behind.
Shi Yan was catching up from the back, closing the distance. Yao Wang, Cao Po and Ya Dong were also sprinting back into their own box simultaneously.
Ultimately catching up to him, Shi Yan competed intensely for the ball against Ren Yu De. The Dingding player held every advantage with his stronger composition. He held Yu De off from the inside, stopping him from advancing into the box while herding him towards the baseline.
Ren Yu De faked many whirls over the ball with his left foot, but none of it fooled Shi Yan.
Then, just a few feet off the line, he feinted a cross. His leg almost touched the ground again when he hurled the ball. The sudden change in rhythm made him fall in the process!
Shi Yan never expected the sudden move and he was unable to block it. Still, he was confident that such a prompt move would not have much quality. Yao Wang would probably make easy work of it.
Spent, Ren Yu De crashed out of the pitch. Although he did not even manage to look at the conditions within the box before he crossed, he had faith that Zhang Jun would be where he needed to be.
And he was, appearing where the ball was headed. Running ahead of Yao Wang, he dived towards the ball decisively.
Xia Bo charged out too.
“Zhang Jun’s making an effort! It’s a diving header!”