I’ll be completely honest with you here–I don’t know much of anything about soccer. I hate to fit the dumb American stereotype, but when it comes to sports, soccer is one that I definitely never got into.

I have nothing against it, of course! Partly, it’s just exhausting watching the ball bounce back and forth between players, changing directions like a whip. But on the other hand, I have to admit that it’s easy to see why some call it a “beautiful” game, and this video of a Thailand soccer team ably slipping through a Malaysian team’s defenses is nothing less than amazing.

Even if you’re like me and you don’t know the difference between rugby and soccer (I think you can bite people in rugby, maybe?), there’s no questioning the skill on display in this video from the December 17 AFF Suzuki Cup game. Thailand might not be the first name you think of when you see “tika-taka play,” but it probably will be soon. Though the short passing play with lots of movement was apparently first mastered in the Spanish league, it looks as if Thailand has been practicing it as well.

With a series of 27 short, snappy passes, the Thai team works the ball down the field until they get within easy range of the goal. With a nearly perfect shot lined up, one determined player takes aim and…

…misses. Just completely, absolutely misses! It’s almost as if the ball and the goal were both the north poles of two magnets.

While the missed goal (which would have put the score at 3 – 0 in Thailand’s favor) was a bit of a let down, I will definitely say that I appreciated the passing techniques that Thailand’s team showed off. Regardless of the sport, that kind of synchronized teamwork and deft movement is as beautiful as any dance routine!

Though maybe someone can tell me why they spend all that time kicking the ball instead of picking it up and tossing it. Surely that would be much easier…

Sources: YouTube, AFF Suzuki Cup 2014
Images: YouTube
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