Football vocabulary exercise - Level 3 (upper-intermediate +)

 

Exercise designed by Viv Quarry (www.vivquarry.com)

 

Match the words to their meanings in English. The first one has been done for you.

 

1. put it in the back of the net

 

to change direction of play and pass the ball from one side of the pitch to the other.

 

2. man on!

 

a shout to encourage a player to play a long ball into the penalty area

3. a nutmeg

 

referring to a team whose players showed a lot of determination and fought very hard during a match

4. bang it in the mixer!

 

referring to a team that can switch quickly from defence to attack and score goals in that way

5. we was robbed

 

this means the goalkeeper made a very basic mistake (and probably let in a goal)

6. sb's got a sweet left foot

 

referring to a well-placed, controlled shot from a scoring position that ends in a goal.

7. sb pulled off a great save

 

referring to a team that defends with all the players and is not very interested in scoring goals.

8. they hit the woodwork

 

shout during a football match to warn a team-mate that a player of the other team is right behind. Often a call to pass the ball quickly

9. they got stuck in

 

referring to an attacking player who made the defence work very hard and made the defenders look uncomfortable or unprofessional

10. sb ran the defence ragged

 

an often admiring reference to a style of football in which a team can pass the ball quickly from one player to another

11. sb's got a lot of pace

 

an often disapproving reference to a style of football in which a team prefers to play long balls in the hope that an attacking player will get them and score

12. the goalkeeper made a howler

 

a trick or technique in which a player passes the ball through an opponentís legs and then collects it from the other side.

13. to switch play

 

referring to a very strong, quick or acrobatic stop of a shot by the goalkeeper

14. sb made a nuisance of herself/himself

 

referring to a player who is very skilful at kicking the ball with her/his left foot (the majority of footballers play with their right foot)

15. itís a game of two halves

 

this means a player was unable to control the ball (or pass) with his or her first touch and as a result lost precious time or even possession

16. one-touch football

1

to score a goal

17. the long-ball game

 

this player is very fast

18. keep possession

 

to be able to keep the ball and prevent the opposing team from touching it.

19. they are dangerous on the counter-attack

 

an expression referring to the fact that a football match can change unexpectedly over 90 minutes, and between the first half and second half of the match

20. put eleven men behind the ball

 

referring to a player, normally a striker, who fought very hard and used his physical presence to put the defenders under pressure

21. send the keeper the wrong way

 

refers to the way in which a player can fool the goalkeeper and pretend to shoot at one side of the goal while the ball goes in another direction.

22. a clinical finish

 

an expression to signal that a defeat was unjust, possibly due to an injustice committed by somebody else.

23. his/her first touch let him/her down

 

This expression means a team kicked the ball against the crossbar or post and was very unlucky not to score

24. they are strong in the air

 

referring to a team that has a lot of (tall) players who can head the ball very well.

 

Level 1 exercise (pre-intermediate -)

 

Level 2 exercise (intermediate)

 

BBC football vocabulary web page.

 

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