Giant Killing 24 – Just As Planned
As expected, Tatsumi’s plan largely reveals itself in this episode (although there is probably still more yet to come), and every match-up starts to bear fruit for ETU — some in large ways (Tsubaki and Gino teaming up to tire out Hiraga, Sugie perhaps inadvertently making Kubota open up his game a bit more and burning through his energy early) and some in smaller ways (Kuroda frustrating Hauer to the point where Hauer shoves Kuroda to the ground and earns a yellow card for his trouble). ETU has all the momentum right now.
(Quick question about the choice of card: It’s pretty clear Hauer attacks Kuroda after the play; it’s not a foul that comes because he went after the ball a bit too strongly, or whatever. Does the attack have to be more severe to warrant a red card? Does it depend on the league? Maybe the series makes the shove look more severe than it actually is, thus the yellow card? I guess it was just a shove in the heat of the moment and doesn’t really deserve an automatic ejection. You’d think ETU would at least try to push for a harsher penalty, though, or stand up for Kuroda.)
Tatsumi was right, though: Once ETU’s strategy started rolling strong, the game became more fun to watch — even the reactions from the coaches are great! Best part, though, is Hiraga’s “OH SH–” reaction when he finally realizes Gino has pulled the wool over his eyes the entire game by pinpointing his passes to “weird” spots he knew Tsubaki was quick enough to reach, which would force the defensive stalwart Hiragi to tire himself out way quicker than anyone on Osaka’s team would like. Boom, instant open field after that.
That’s a definite foul out of clear desperation, so I assume a free kick will start off the next episode. Don’t think the player fouled has to kick, but Tsubaki will probably kick for dramatic purposes. Seems like Tsubaki was close enough to make the shot (or at least put it into position for someone else to score) but not close enough for it to be a straight up penalty kick. (Though perhaps someone more familiar with penalty kick rules than me can clarify that.) I hope ETU shows a bit more fire for this than they did for Hauer shoving Kuroda to the ground, haha.
Have to say, though, that the Kubota bit seems like a somewhat dubious strategy to me, though to be fair, it does seem as if Tatsumi underestimated Kubota, and that Kubota tiring himself out relatively early in the game was more a stroke of luck than something Tatsumi deliberately planned. And it’s not as if there wasn’t a price ETU paid for Kubota tiring himself out — he did score a goal as a result of playing more open and aggressive than normal. Kind of evens itself out, really.
Also wonder how Natsuki will figure into the final couple of episodes. He has to score a goal, right? Gotta vanquish those demons, figure out how he needs to play and impress Gino. I imagine Natsuki’s goal will probably come in the final episode — perhaps, it will be the score that decides the game. If Tsubaki scores a goal to start the next episode, then I think it’s a guarantee that Natsuki will decide the game. Hope he doesn’t fold under the pressure!
Come on, Natsuki, you can do it~