Chapter 87: That pandemonic confession (2)
In the words of the coach of Jianhai Technological University, Yanzhou University had decided to throw even their face out of the window in this match of football.
Yanzhou University’s coach replied, “Who cares? …Do you think that out of this entire stadium of chicks here, there are more than three who understand football? Look, look how happy they are.”
The chicks were indeed spectating very happily.
On one hand, Yanzhou University who had always been slaughtered in the past hadn’t even conceded a single goal in the first half. Not knowing anything about possession or switching between attack and defence, the chicks felt that not having conceded meant being on equal terms with the enemy. In that sense, Yanzhou University had improved.
On the other hand, people were congregated close together on the field, with there often being three or four players from the opposing sides tumbling to the ground together in various differing poses. The corrupted girls virtually whooped at that, while the other girls were also interested by these commotions.
This match was a very joyful one.
The scoreline was maintained at 0 : 0 for the first half. As soon as the second half began, Jianhai Technological University substituted in a centre-forward who was more than 1.9 meters tall. This indicated that they were prepared to give up on coordination completely and focus specifically on long crosses.
Yanzhou University’s coach gestured towards the substitutes’ bench, and a hulking giant who was more than two metres tall stood up from beside Xu Tingsheng. This guy had been borrowed from the basketball team, being their mainstay center. He was definitely great at basketball. Still, if it was football, while it couldn’t actually be said that he couldn’t play it at all, that little bit that he knew how to play was really just a little bit.
When the coach had initially borrowed him, everyone had thought that he was to be their goalkeeper. However…that wasn’t the case.
“Get on, mark that tall centre-forward of theirs who’s just come on to death,” The coach said to the basketball mainstay.
The big guy wiped off his sweat, “Coach, I really can’t do it. I, I don’t even know how to defend.”
The coach frowned, “Let me ask you this. How do you usually defend against the opposing center in basketball?”
“Raise my arms, use my body to block him.”
“And there you have it! Get your hands up and block him. Follow him wherever he goes and use your chest to block him…Block him to death, that’s all you need to do.”
Being an earnest person, the basketball center strictly abided by the coach’s instructions after having gone on the field. His arms upraised, he chased around and madly blocked their opponents’ tall centre-forward everywhere with his enormous bulging chest muscles. He blocked him when the ball arrived, blocked him when the ball was not present, blocked at the opposing side of the field, chased him back to their own side of the field and blocked again.
The whistle blew. Someone was injured. As Jianhai Technological University’s tall centre-forward made use of this time to go to the sidelines and drink a few mouthfuls of water, that dude of Yanzhou University came over, his chest upraised. ‘Heh!’ A solid block of the body…the poor guy nearly choked to death over a mouthful of water.
Their opponents’ tall centre-forward could be considered tall on the football field, but he was still smaller by a whole size before the mainstay center of Yanzhou University’s basketball team. His coach had placed high hopes on him for the second half. Having taken to the field in high spirits, intending to contribute greatly and secure victory for the team, he had instead been chased and blocked about the entire field, resembling a petite daisy swaying in the wind.
His mother! This was a foul, right? Jianhai Technological University protested.
The referee ran off expressionlessly. It wasn’t a foul…How could a slick old hand on the basketball court be caught for a foul so easily? When you weren’t exerting strength, he would lightly block up close with his body. While his movements didn’t seem big at all, they were backed up by substantial force. You wanted to receive the ball? That would be a legal collision then. In the case of legal contact while jumping up for the ball, would you be able to outjump him? Out-collide him?
This was just too tragic. Jianhai Technological University’s centre-forward was close to tears.
The corrupted girls were virtually overwhelmed by emotion. This was…literally a live action movie! The entire stadium was filled with youthful shrieks and laughter for a time.
The match ended at full time with the score 0 : 0. There had only been a single substitution for Yanzhou University. Xu Tingsheng had not had a chance to play at all.
Lu Zhixin’s roommate asked her on the stands-what was to be done about this?
Lu Zhixin replied, “Relax! There’s still extra time.”
In the first minute of extra time, Jianhai Technological University started the ball in their own half. The No.10, who had moved back to become a second striker, received the ball. This captain of the Jianhai Technological University school team who had once been considered for the all-star starting 11 of all of Jianhai Province finally demonstrated his worth now as he directly struck a 35-metre-long low pass deep into enemy territory in the style of Rui Costa. Amidst startled cries, the ball…shot straight past all of Yanzhou University’s midfielders.
Jianhai University’s No. 9, an extraordinarily fast forward, dribbled his way through as he sped off rapidly towards the penalty area…
“Take him down! Take him down!”
Such was being wildly yelled by the coach as well as the entire substitutes’ bench on Yanzhou University’s side. Right, there was only one possible solution-taking him down at any cost before he entered the penalty box. It was fine even if someone was awarded a red card as a result. If they were one man down, they would just hole themselves back in their own half even more deeply. If they gathered everyone back at the edge of the penalty box, there would still be a chance for them to drag the match on into penalties.
However, if they conceded, with their formation, capabilities and remaining stamina, the result of counterattacking could only be conceding even more goals.
The players on the pitch all heard their cries. Their thoughts were the same as well. Three consecutive sliding tackles flew. The No. 9 centre-forward avoided the first one, then the second, yet was ultimately unable to avoid the majestic frame of Yanzhou University’s basketball team centre mainstay lunging in from the side. That wasn’t a sliding tackle at all. That was clearly the movement of a basketball player lunging outside the court to keep the ball in play.
The No. 9 of Jianhai Technological University was struck flying from the waist. He doubled entirely inwards as though having been struck by Kamekameha as he soared through the air. While he flew into the penalty area as a result, the location of the foul was outside of the penalty box, right on its line.
A free kick and a red card, no questions asked.
The basketball player was cheered on as a hero as he left the pitch, as if he had produced some crazy solo game-changing slam dunk on the basketball court.
“I feel like I’m really beginning to like football a little,” The basketball center said as he sat down on the substitutes’ bench.”
Xu Tingsheng and the other substitutes all looked panicked. After all, no one would want to be perpetually chased and blocked by him when split up into groups during their future practices.
Quickly, their gazes all returned to the pitch. There was still a free kick, a free kick from the edge of the penalty box.
The coach performed their second substitution of the match, sending on a central defender to replace another with insufficient stamina.
Yanzhou University lined 6 people into a human wall, with the remaining three in charge of marking.
The main free kick taker for Jianhai Technological University was their captain, the No.10. He strolled leisurely forward and placed the ball on the spot. He walked back, full of confidence as he deftly began his run-up, striking…the ball drew a beautiful arc…entering straight into an unsalvageable corner.
0 : 1.
Yanzhou University had painstakingly held on for more than 90 minutes, one of their number even having been sent off. They had given their all in trying to drag the match on to penalties, and just when it had truly seemed that they might really be able to achieve it…by that deft strike, by that graceful arc…it had all shattered in a single moment.
Jianhai Technological University’s No.10 did not race off wildly in celebration. He just stood there, his arms raised high. Then, he smiled, turning towards Yanzhou University’s cheerleading squad and main crowd of spectators, lightly putting his index finger to his lips: Shhh.
The meaning herein was: Shut up.
Having still been cheering for the basketball mainstay just a moment ago, the spectators and cheerleading squad of more than eighty fell completely silent. It was not that they were obediently shutting up. It was desolation, despair that led to this involuntary, hapless silence.
After the silence came the swearing. An entire world of swearing descended upon the captain and No. 10 of Jianhai Technological University’s football team.
It was not because he had scored. It was because that celebratory action of his had really been too humiliating. Against their swearing, Jianhai Technological University’s No.10 revealed an intentionally mocking smile as he spread his hands apart and shrugged as if to say: Who cares?
Swearing could not solve anything. If they wanted to revive their fallen pride, it was only on the pitch that they might be able to do so.
All the Yanzhou University players on and off the pitch directed their gazes at the coach. Actually, the coach was infuriated as well, not a single person having cursed more fiercely than him just now. However, faced with their inquiring gazes, he inhaled deeply, making a downward suppressing motion with his hands.
Stabilise yourselves. Continue guarding to the deaths.
There still being 20 minutes before the end of extra time, now was still not the time for an all-out counterattack. Having relied completely on sprinting to establish a psuedo-numerical advantage and maintain their clean sheet up till now, the stamina of the Yanzhou University players were already in no way comparable to that of their opponents. Also, being a man down, if they launched their final counterattack too early on, it would only be leaving themselves vulnerable.
Only by ensuring now that they did not concede further would Yanzhou University have the chance to retaliate with all their remaining might in the final ten or even five minutes, even though the chances of success therein would be very, very low.
Spurred against the same common enemy, united in their aspirations, all of Yanzhou University’s players forcibly held on despite their majorly depleted conditions, salvaging one perilous situation after another, madly scrambling forth to block the ball time and time again. People continually collapsed to the ground with cramps. They were not trying to drag out the time. They had truly depleted even their very last remaining vestiges of energy.
“Coach, sub!” The captain yelled towards the sidelines.
There was still one final substitution available for Yanzhou University. Still, against the captain’s request, the coach hardened his heart, shaking his head expressionlessly in refusal.
Xu Tingsheng understood that this substitution was to be saved for that final counterattack right at the end. An offensive player would take to the field, to slay their unwitting enemies into submission.
This was Yanzhou University’s sole chance. They could only bet their all on it.
The stands fell silent again. The proceedings on the pitch resembled a silent war film. There was not the smoke of the erupting gunpowder, but there seemed to be the desperately onrushing figures braving the incoming enemy fire.
The girls might not understand football, but they could see the resolute expressions on the faces of the players, their teeth grit in painful determination. They could see those scrambling movements that bordered almost on crawling as their knees and elbows scraped across the ground, could see the flames of fury blazing within their eyes…they could hear those unconsciously released howls that mustered all their final vestiges of strength.
In order to wash away that humiliation, Yanzhou University’s football team had placed their very lives on the line.
From that moment when Jianhai University’s No.10 had put his finger before his lips towards that entire stretch of spectators, indicating for them to shut up, Yanzhou University’s football team had become sinners, sinners that had caused the entire Yanzhou University to be humiliated.
They had lost 1 : 4, even 2 : 11 before, but neither could even be compared to the humiliation they had suffered this very day.
Because today, thousands of Yanzhou University spectators as well as Yanzhou University’s cheerleading squad of more than eighty girls who had been standing for more than two hours amidst the cold winter had been indicated by someone to ‘shut up’, yet had only been able to maintain their silence…
Yanzhou University had been bullied, had been humiliated.
Yanzhou University’s girls had been bullied, had been humiliated. At this time, where were Yanzhou University’s guys?
Everyone of Yanzhou University’s school team wanted to wash away this humiliation with their own hands. However, the gap between the two teams was really too great. Additionally considering how their stamina had been depleted, they were currently behind and they were a man down, with the situation on the pitch…they could only barely painstakingly hold on, as it seemed….like they stood not a chance at all.
This was a desperate, despairing struggle.
Some girls who were rather more emotional began to weep. Tears began glistening in the eyes of the other girls who were less emotional, and even some guys.
With 15 minutes left to extra time, the two teams switched sides. The coach indicated for all the remaining substitutes who had yet to come on to get up and get themselves warmed up.
Before the stands, Xu Tingsheng began with a slow jog, accelerated, sprinted.
Leaning over a railing, Huang Yaming said, “Heck, your university somehow turned a match that had originally been no contest at all into some kind of tragic war film. Hell, even I feel like supporting your side right now.”
Xu Tingsheng ignored this guy who shared no sense of affiliation with his university and shared not with its pride at all.
What he had originally wanted was to sit out the entire match, evading that confession show that rendered him speechless just thinking about it. However, at the end of the day, Xu Tingsheng’s veins ran warm with blood. At this moment, his hot-bloodedness had already been completely ignited by the proceedings on the pitch.
He wanted to play, wanted to score. Whatever confession, whatever rose, whatever Lu Zhixin…everything else paled greatly in comparison. There was only going to battle as a hot-blooded man of Yanzhou University that was the most important.
As Xu Tingsheng was running slowly by Huang Yaming again, the latter continued, “Hurry up and get on that pitch! Go score one. Just one, and you’ll be your Yanzhou University’s hero… Every girl here will be weeping and wailing and clamoring to marry you, you know?”
Fu Cheng came over and pushed away the jabbering Huang Yaming, brandishing his fist towards Xu Tingsheng as he yelled, “Xu Tingsheng, what-his-mother-just-get-on! Kill them dead!”
With just ten minutes remaining in the match, Yanzhou University’s coach who had retained his silence up till now suddenly made a sweeping gesture, roaring at his greatest with the air of a commander ordering the final remaining soldier of his troops to charge forth into the enemy’s lines in a manner that feared not death’s embrace, “Xu Tingsheng, get over here!”