Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 73 - Onside[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:36]
Chapter 73: Onside
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“The second half kicks off at the referee’s whistle!”
“There’s so much to look forward to!”
Zhang Jun rolled the ball to Ren Yu De, who dashed into Dingding’s half instead of passing it to Kaka in the rear. Many were shocked by his action.
Isn’t he supposed to be worn down? Why is he so aggressive as soon as he’s back?”Bin Fei thought. He felt suspicious as he was left dumbstruck by Ren Yu De.
“The halftime break allows a little recovery, but is there a need for Ren Yu De to push forward immediately after?” Mr. Zhou was also doubting Ren Yu De’s endeavor.
Liang Ke however, disagreed.
He knew what his player was thinking: since his pathetic amount of stamina was not going to last, instead of wasting it on futile runs back and forth, he could better utilize it by dribbling ahead and creating chances for his teammates. It would help his team to avoid Dingding’s offside trap too.
Ren Yu De was like a candle nearing the end of its life; he would shine with every last bit of his strength, leaving no regrets behind when falling down in utter exhaustion.
Since when did a troubled teenager who fought, got drunk and smoked every day become willing to sacrifice himself for others? Liang Ke really hoped that his parents could bear witness to this very moment at the stands—how radiant the rebellious child that they almost sent to reform school was.
Fan Cunjie was hesitant.
He was considering the option of chasing for the ball; there was no doubt that with Ren Yu De’s current condition, he would soon be dispossessed. As such, it was wiser to stay up front rather than track back to challenge for the ball—he would wait for Cao Po to get the ball to him, and then go for the counter.
So, with one last glance at Ren Yu De’s stumbling shadow, he turned and ran in the opposite direction. He had faith in Cao Po’s ability, which he came to know after three years of partnership.
As expected, Cao Po closed in with his intimidating mannerisms, showing that he was not going to be merciful towards a player who was barely holding his legs up.
There seemed to be no escape for Ren Yu De, but it was in that moment that Zhang Jun ran up and ingeniously latched on to Cao Po. This way, he kept him off his teammate.
Such a trick did not even cross Cao Po’s mind and he lost his chance to win possession of the ball. Hence, Ren Yu De slipped past Zhang Jun like a basketball screen and pushed forward.
Shi Yan was up. Ren Yu De had gotten one over him just before the break and he wanted revenge!
Seeing the path of Ren Yu De’s progress, Shi Yan dived in for a fierce tackle!
Under stunned gasps, Ren Yu De made an emergency brake! This resulted in Shi Yan striking empty air!
At the next second, Ren Yu De quickly accelerated again, leaving Shi Yan completely behind!
“A quick stop and turn! How does he have so much strength left?” Liu Wei could not keep himself from crying out.
It was true that each of those movements was a huge challenge for a fatigued person; in fact, it was virtually a heart-attack for Ren Yu De’s scattered breathing. However, he pulled himself together and dribbled so perfectly—how many physically fit players could have copied the exquisite timing of his instant stop?
“Ren Yu De! Ren Yu De! Ren Yu De!”
Liu Qi began to chant his name, and that section of the stands quickly followed suit.
“Ren Yu De has gotten past three players! Su Rui is now approaching. Will he stop Yu De’s advance?”
It seemed that his last move against Shi Yan had taken away the last vestiges of his strength. Ren Yu De was now positively faltering and his movements were all over the place.
It’s probably the end for this guy, Su Rui thought, and he prepared to close in.
Ren Yu De began to sway around without a heading, looking ready to drop to the ground at a moment’s notice. Relieved, Su Rui daringly went up for the block and as soon as he stuck his foot out, the unsteady Ren Yu De knocked the ball to the right and burst off to the left!
“He’s off! Ren Yu De has gotten past another one!”
Su Rui could not believe he had lost in a single duel! He stood still for moments, forgetting to give chase.
Ren Yu De did not dawdle, passing the ball to Zhang Jun.
He had just received the ball, but Cao Po was already in pursuit behind him, while Yao Wang was waiting just in front.
Without pulling any tricks, Zhang Jun sprinted onwards with the ball! The burly Yao Wang could not catch up and fell behind within seconds. Cao Po kept running with all of his might, following him tightly and preventing him from having a comfortable shot.
Forced into an angle that continued to get more skewed, Zhang Jun paused. Seizing the brief second that Cao Po was still turning, he passed!
“It’s Ren Yu De! Ren Yu De is going to shoot! Yao Wang is up to block! It’s a shot!”
Xia Bo dived and palmed the ball away. It bounced off to Ya Dong, who kicked it out of bounds.
After his shot, Ren Yu De was slightly shoved by Yao Wang. He rolled onto the ground and Zhang Jun pulled him up.
The ensuing Shu Guang corner was fruitless. While Yao Wang’s agility was not on par with Zhang Jun or Ren Yu De’s, he had absolute confidence in the air. He headed the ball away from the box.
Fan Cunjie received the ball, but played cautiously. It was clear to him now that any recklessness would result in him becoming fodder for Shu Guang.
He swiftly moved past the midfield, and Dingding swapped their defensive play for an attack.
Kaka ran back as fast he could, but Fan Cunjie side-footed it to Shi Yan just as he almost caught up.
Enraged after being fooled by Ren Yu De, Shi Yan was prepared to unleash his anger on the Shu Guang defense. Xie Yu was clearly unable to keep up, and he was swung around in circles.
Shi Yan crossed and Bin Fei leaped!
However, An Ke was one step ahead and plucked the ball out of the air. As soon as he touched the ground, he drop-kicked it far to the front.
Kaka ascertained where Ren Yu De was and headed the ball to his teammate; the striker was still the better option to beat the offside trap despite being on his last legs. That was apparent after he thoroughly dismantled the Dingding defense in two runs.
Ren Yu De chested the ball to the ground, turned and prepared to charge. A clear whistle sounded.
The linesman waved his flag.
Re Yu De checked his surroundings and he was indeed off the line. For him to also get trapped, Dingding clearly wanted to nullify any chance of Shu Guang going on the attack.
Kaka cursed. Both their strikers were now neutralized.
Zhang Jun ran up to him and told him in a low voice, “Don’t worry, Kaka. Pass the ball in front of me next time. I’ll have them bite their own tail.”
The Brazilian stared at him, mildly surprised. “You’ve found a way to break their offside trap?”
The interim captain nodded. “Yeah, I have something in mind. Remember, your pass has to be firm, and reach my front behind their backs!”
Yao Wang struck his free kick powerfully from the depths of Dingding’s own half. Fan Cunjie got to it and moved past Li Hao comfortably. But, his pass was bizarrely intercepted. Yang Yong had surprisingly appeared on the halfway line.
The center-half quickly gave it to Kaka, who chested it down. Yao Wang raised his hand, signaling to the defenders that the ball was coming at them. The last few times he did that resulted in them moving forward together—much to the annoyance of Shu Guang.
This time, things were different.
Zhang Jun did not drift away from the empty space between Su Rui and Yao Wang. He looked for the latter and stuck close to him, running back and forth in front of him.
Yao Wang had no idea what Zhang Jun was up to. Running here and there, perhaps it was some sort of warm-up?
Zhang Jun ran a few paces towards Dingding’s goal and turned back as though he was running laps. As he ran towards Yao Wang again, Kaka passed.
It was a long ball, stabbed from the left to an empty spot behind Dingding’s defense line.
“That’s a meaningless ball, there’s no one to get it… Wait! Zhang Jun! It’s Zhang Jun! My goodness! He’s so fast!”
Zhang Jun accelerated past the still confused Yao Wang, dashing like the wind towards Kaka’s pass! It was a low curving ball, and it blew past the defense towards the box.
Yao Wang was not Dingding’s last man and there was no way Zhang Jun was offside.
Xia Bo hesitated, nevertheless he still dashed out.
Even Liang Ke had never seen such speed from Zhang Jun; he was probably as fast as Yang Pan at this very moment. He was moving at an astonishing velocity, like a cheetah chasing its prey!
Cao Po also sprinted back, not towards Zhang Jun, but to his own goalpost. He tried to cover the empty space Xia Bo had left behind. Ya Dong was in pursuit of the striker even though he had actually been closer to the ball. He was just two steps away when he alarmingly found that Zhang Jun was already in front of him.
Xia Bo got to Zhang Jun as the ball rolled over the box.
The keeper dived to catch it. He also saw Zhang Jun’s swaying feet, which seemed prepared to move the ball away at any moment. Out of ideas, Xia Bo simply slid in at the ball out of habit.
Zhang Jun whirled his left foot around the ball, indicating that he was about to hook it towards the left. Xia Bo responded and held his hands out in that direction. However, the ball was gone!
An entire stadium cried out in amazement as the ball rolled to the right between Zhang Jun and Xia Bo—both of them did not have the ball!
However, Xia Bo had slipped out of the box at that point. Meanwhile, Zhang Jun jumped over him to the left, before rounding himself to the right to stay on the ball!
Cao Po finally reached the box and he was moving backwards towards the goalpost.
Under a tight angle, Zhang Jun retrieved the ball, turned, and thumped it!
Having ran slightly too far, Cao Po desperately attempted a block with his left foot but he failed to get to it! The ball flew over his leg to the far post!
It bounced off the bar and nested itself in the net!
After a second of astonishment, the speakers roared, “It’s in! The ball went in!”