GOAAALLL!!! God damn, I felt the manly tears coming out even though the game was far from being over. After all the struggles and criticism ETU’s endured, it’s about time they proved to everyone that Tatsumi wasn’t all talk when he said he’d make this league interesting again. Take that you non-believers! Anyway, it turns out that Tatsumi was banking on the moment that Nagoya would make an offense push and bring the always dangerous Carlos into the mix, leaving a crack in their midfield defense. The opening was brief and there was really only one chance to capitalize on it, but watching Kiyokawa cut off Carlos’ pass to Pepe and send Gino flying down the other end of the field was utterly awesome as everyone rose to their feet in anticipation. With Akasaki breaking down the side and looking like he was going to put it away, only for Sera to miss the follow-up opportunity as well, the thought of Tsubaki blazing in out of nowhere like he’s been all game filled my mind well before he actually did just that. However, therein lie the beauty of it all as it was an “ask and you shall receive” moment that left everyone speechless before ETU members and fans exploded into an uproar of jubilation. Oh hell yeah!
Even Tatsumi wasn’t expecting Tsubaki to come in for the third chance and shut Fuwa’s arrogant ass up, but this was the best possible outcome and the one I was hoping for from the very beginning of this match. It’ll be interesting to see if ETU can hold onto this one goal lead for the remaining fifteen minutes or so in the second half now that Itagaki is all intent on taking matters in his own hands following Carlos’ decision to pass to Pepe instead of him when he was open. I wouldn’t rule out Tsubaki coming in yet again to steal this game for ETU however, as he’s slowly inheriting the spirit of the team that Tatsumi embodied when wearing the number seven. Overall, this episode absolutely rocked and I still get chills watching Tsubaki’s goal even now. At twenty-six episodes, this series can evidently spare a good three to four episodes for a single match and a lot flashbacks and recycled scenes for emphasis, but I can’t help but feel they could have easily achieved the same effect without so much of the latter. It’s easy to enjoy this while we’re caught in the moment of all, but this also means there will be at least one less episode for things later on when they’ll undoubtedly get even more exciting. For now though, it sure doesn’t hurt to live in the moment! Tsubaki!