The grass was wet from the morning rain.

Sponsored Content

In early November, before the 14th round match against Zaragoza, Manager Pepe began intensive set-piece training with the defenders.

I was paired up with Pedri in order to practice shooting. 

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to play in the next game.” 

“Why do you say that?” 

“Something doesn’t feel right.” 

Pedri said with a slightly darkened expression on his face. 

Recently, the number of appearances for Viera has started to increase, to the point that he might be pushed out of his starting position. 

“Viera is so good.
Do you know he’s the second most goalscorer after you?”

“How many goals did he score?”

“Five goals.”

It was a little surprising, but I don’t think it’s enough to drop Pedri. 

Viera was an experienced, attacking midfielder who was at his peak. 

But by my standards, that was natural. 

“You’re from Barcelona.
You’ll be back in the game soon.” 

“If I don’t play for Las Palmas then being a Barcelona player doesn’t mean anything.”

“Kim! Pedri! Focus!” 

After a short conversation, Jose Yepes, the goalkeeper’s coach, screamed. 

We started to continue the shooting practice, which was paused by the coach’s urging. 

The ball, kicked by my foot curves, flies to the left goalpost, hits the goalpost, and bounces off with a ‘THUD’ sound. 

The sense of shooting is definitely good. 

I’m in perfect condition. 

Next, it was Pedri’s turn. 

The ball, which flew briskly, hit Domingue Arejandro’s arm and bounced off in vain. 

“Pedri.” 

“Yes.” 

“Your form is a mess.” 

Pedri sighed and ran towards the penalty box at Jose Yepes’ call. 

The movement of kicking the ball itself was unstable. 

Castro approached from the side while Pedri was pointed to go out by the coach. 

Sponsored Content

“What’s wrong with him?” 

“He can’t play soccer well today.” 

“Hmm, that’s always a difficult problem.”

“That’s right, Castro?” 

“Yes?” 

“Did Viera score five goals while I was away?”

“Yeah, he was in a good shape lately.” 

“What about you, Castro?” 

There might be something wrong with my Spanish since I felt a stinging gaze from Castro, who seemed to be angry. 

I don’t think I said anything rude, but still, I’ll ask Uncle Bari later. 

Next was a practice match. 

Manager Pepe and Head coach Rios had serious expressions on their faces. 

I felt that the defenders were in a mess. 

It’s not someone’s mistake that caused a loss, but the line plays separately and gives up a series of opportunities without properly using the defensive line. 

“Aitami! Focus!” 

“Lemos!, whether you are keeping the line or making a personal mark!, just do one thing at a time”

“It’s empty again!” 

The Head coach’s sighs sounded like background music. 

I ran through the broken line defenders and only put my foot on the ball.

Goalkeeper Martinez jumped out, but it was harder to stop the ball I kicked perfectly. 

There was no cheer as the defense had completely collapsed. 

Everyone who played the practice game started to get worried about the 14th game against Zaragoza. 

     

November 4, 2019 at Estadio de la Romareda, the home stadium of Resumen de Real Zaragoza.

The open stadium, painted blue and sky blue, was filled with spectators. 

I was in good condition after the three hours flight.

We lined up and took the seats behind the waiting room of the Las Palmas team. 

It was my first time as a starting member in La Liga Division 2. 

Players in the front line escorted the children into the stadium, moving away from view one by one.

Sponsored Content

Players of Real Zaragoza said something next to me, but I couldn’t hear well because their sound got mixed with the roaring cheers of the crowd. 

The weather was good. 

After exchanging handshakes, I got ready and headed to my starting position for the start of the game. 

Near the half-line, Viera stood in his position and spoke briefly. 

“Let’s win.” 

“Yes.” 

Today’s Las Palmas tactic was 4-4-1-1. 

Four defenders and four midfielders. 

There is Viera and me on it. 

My position was a central striker, it was my originally desired position. 

Manager Pepe told Viera to change positions freely and stir up their defense. 

As he did not plan to raise the line significantly, he seemed to have expected a similar attack development like the match against Fuenlabrada. 

Game 14 of La Liga 2 began with the referee’s whistle. 

The pass went to the opponent striker, No.
26.
Suarez, the striker of Zaragoza who was loaned from Watford, also had seven goals and eight assists last year. 

The scream of the analyst, vividly telling us not to let our guard down to the young 21-year-old striker, could be heard. 

I hope Aitami and Lemos, the central defenders, would block him well. 

“Inigo!” 

Fabio Gonzalez, who played as a left-center midfielder, steals Zaragoza’s ball. 

Gonzalez swung his foot just in time as I went near the half-line to receive the ball. 

A rough pass narrowly passed through before my foot could reach. 

There was a feeling of touching the tip of my foot, but it was unfortunate. 

As Manager Pepe ordered, we didn’t rush forward blindly. 

When the opponent crosses the half-line, the key is to put strong pressure on them. 

“Gutty!” 

“Gonzales!” 

At the beginning of the first half, each other’s calls to intersect their opponent echoed throughout the stadium.

We were fiercely competing to gain control of the midfield. 

I marked Zaragoza’s wingback, Nieto, who started to overlap as the ball came over to our camp. 

Las Palmas wing-back Alex had to join me to stop him from taking possession of the ball.

The shoulder bones collide with the opponent, causing pain to rise. 

Sponsored Content

Obviously, the players who came out as starters had more relative physical perfection than me. 

The shoulder that I put in instinctively got pulled back. 

It was fortunate that the opposing midfielder who got hold of the ball did not pass immediately. 

“Alex! Look at Mark!” 

I screamed at Alex, and sent hand signals when our eyes met. 

Perhaps he was not concentrating on the game properly, he passed it dryly and moved to a new defensive position following the ball that flew to the other side. 

Srnich, a right-winger, participated in the fierce fight in the center, while the mark of the opponent’s left fullback was still free. 

When I thought about the counterattack, it was impossible for me to just go down and stop it. 

What choices should I make? 

Kirian Rodriguez cuts the ball flying to the left of the Las Palmas camp. 

De La Bella’s long ground ball pass reached me through Viera’s touch. 

Before Guti and Eguaras of Zaragoza tightened the space on either side, I sent a through pass to Viera again.

Fortunately, in the midst of misfortune, all the attackers seemed to be in a good condition. 

As Viera passed through the opposing midfielder and approached the penalty box line, the defense suddenly rushed to Viera.

Kirian Rodriguez, who came up, approached Viera’s side and took the ball. 

Soon after receiving a back pass from Kirian Rodriguez, De La Bella’s cross made the ball come into the penalty box. 

The attack seemed to be in vain because of my tight mark even though the attack progressed like flowing water.

Sure enough, a cross flowed back past me, trapped between the central defenders.

Zaragoza’s full-back made a long pass toward the Las Palmas camp. 

Ah. 

The ball, which bounced back after hitting Inigo’s head, fell behind the final defensive line. 

As Zaragoza striker Suarez ran, Aitami raised his hand, but the flag of the assistant referee did not rise. 

It’s on the side.

In a difficult situation, goalkeeper Martinez rushed out of the net.

The left side of the goal was greatly emptied because of the wrong judgment of the defense. 

The crowd of Estadio de la Romareda, the home stadium of Zaragoza, jumps up. 

It felt like the blue waves were waving. 

“It’s okay! Let’s take it slow!” 

Aitami comforted the players on the defensive line. 

Sponsored Content

The first goal was scored 11 minutes into the first half. 

While Suarez was having a celebration with his teammates after scoring a goal, the players of our team pulled themselves together. 

16 minutes into the first half, in front of the penalty box.
Viera’s shot glided over the net. 

The game was tight after losing a point. 

The Las Palmas attack was sharp. 

The problem was, that it was the same for Zaragoza. 

A handful of away fans applauded enthusiastically for Martinez’s save. 

Martinez’s reflexes bring a surprise every time. 

The opponent’s midfielder, Eguaras, made the cannonball-like mid-range shot slip the post with his fingertips. 

“Wake up! Mark’s empty!” 

“No.27! Who’s Marking 27?” 

A corner kick followed before the defense’s confusion cleared up. 

The ball which the midfielder of Zaragoza tried to take was cleared by Lemos’s head. 

It fell a little further from the penalty box. 

Inigo and Gonzalez tried to fill the gap. 

The ball hit by Gonzalez’s leg bends and rolls in front of the box. 

Among the players who were just out of the penalty box, number 17 and Zaragoza’s left wingback Nieto tried to take possession of the ball in the middle while the defense had not been established. 

Lemos and Aitami rushed for the defense, but Nieto entered the penalty box and swung his foot after two touches with incredible calmness. 

“Eyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee–!” 

“Good job!” 

Nieto outstretched his arms and ran to the corner of the flag. 

The faces of our players turned pale.

19 minutes into the first half. 

The game was 2-0. 

Zaragoza’s attack was fierce to dismiss as luck, and Las Palmas’ defense was a mess.

TRIVIA

Overlap

If a player overlaps, they pass the ball to another member of their team and then run beyond that player so that they are ready to receive the ball again.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like