A Japanese football team has the internet in hysterics after a particularly unique free-kick routine went viral.
Some footballers are often accused of playacting in the box but one Japanese high school took that to the extreme when they scored a goal with one of the more unique set piece routines you’ll ever see.
Takagawa Gakuen, who hail from the Yamaguchi prefecture, successfully pulled off the crazy free kick against a team credited as Star Ridge of Ishikawa, in a match which took place on Wednesday in Yokohama, south of the Japanese capital Tokyo.
The routine went like this: awaiting a free kick from the right flank, a group of five players from Takagawa Gakuen held hands and ‘danced’ in a circular motion – a move which appeared to entirely flummox the five defenders sent over to mark them.
— yoshinikov (@yoshinikov) December 29, 2021
But as the free kick takers makes his approach to the ball, the quintet separate and make a beeline for the ball – with one of the five players successfully connecting with his head and nodding the ball past the goalkeeper, in what will be one of the most unusual strikes he will ever concede.
Football fans clearly liked what they saw, too, with the brief clip being viewed more than 2.5 million times in the first 12 hours after it was uploaded to social media.
It will remain to be seen if this strange but undeniably effective free-kick routine ever makes it out of Japan and into mainstream European football.
Imagine conceding to that ????????♂️
— Chris Cooper (@Chris_Cooper_92) December 29, 2021
Really missed the opportunity to do the dance again in celebration ???? ????????????????
— Mike Meldonian (@MMeldonian) December 29, 2021
This is the problem with zonal marking! ????
— Steven Jones (@JonesyDons) December 29, 2021
However, recent evidence has shown that there are certainly trends when it comes to new thinking around set pieces.
In the past year or so it has been common practice for a defender to lay down behind a wall in advance of a free kick to ensure that any low shots don’t go underneath the jump of a defensive wall.
But until we see this type of free kick performed by the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Virgil van Dijk, or any of the other ‘hard men’ in the English Premier League, this may just remain a clip for the ‘what happened next?’ round of sports quiz TV shows.
“Imagine conceding to that,” noted one incredulous fan on Twitter.
“Really missed the opportunity to do the dance again in celebration,” said another.
A third added: “This is the problem with zonal marking!”