Albirex's quirky free-kick routine explained

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Have you ever seen anything like this before? This was taken during the S.League match between Albirex Niigata (S) and Warriors FC.

In the 2-0 defeat by Warriors FC, three Albirex players went down on their knees, just in front of the wall as Tatsuro Inui took a free-kick, as shown in the video above.

Why did they do that? Apparently, this is not an uncommon practise in Japan, according to Albirex coach Naoki Naruo.

"We do it just to prevent the goalkeeper from being able to see the ball," Naruo shared.

Well, the trick nearly worked but an alert Yazid Yasin tipped away the shot.

The White Swans did it another time in the second half and this time the ball swung just inches away from goal, with Yazid rooted to the spot. This may become a regular routine in the S.League if Albirex keep it up.

Photo and video: S.League