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Coaches / Analysis / Details

Qualitative analysis (5)

Attacking without goalkeeper

In a separate article supplementary to this overall analysis of the 2019 World Championship in Germany and Denmark, a comprehensive analysis of all empty goal situations in the 96 matches was presented.

Here, we will therefore explain some additional video examples:

1. Seven-against-six positional attack

At GER/DEN 2019, Croatia was one of the few teams that played seven against six more frequently in some matches – but not always successfully. The video examples show the basic tactical concept of Croatia’s seven-against-six attack, with centre back Duvnjak being the key decision maker (see {7ec4e5e3-7440-4c82-9de7-e0d152262ba5,video 17}).

{091a6979-d085-4f1c-be2b-ae69ba2a6859,Video 18} shows another tactical option for playing seven against six in attack. Germany used this option only sporadically in very specific situations at the end of the match. The conscious decision to take a higher risk was rewarded and ultimately lead to success, as Germany managed to equalise shortly before the end of the match.

{351c0684-3b73-4d3f-a21c-16cfa0bcef7f,Video 19}, however, features a negative example: In the preliminary round match against Spain, Macedonia were only one goal behind at the start of the second half (12:13). At first, Macedonia played two unsuccessful six-against-five attacks which led to direct counter-attacks by an outnumbered Spanish team. This was followed by three seven-against-six attacks. All three attacks were unsuccessful; two led to direct goals into the empty goal. After only 2 minutes and 48 seconds, the score was 12:18. The match was practically decided early.

 

2. Defence behaviour when playing six against seven

At GER/DEN 2019, we observed a clear tactical ‘response’ in defence when playing six against seven: teams like France (5-1 defence) or Germany (3-2-1 defence) often kept their offensive defence formation in order to interfere with or disrupt the attackers’ timing and passing speed in the back court at an early stage.

One of the main reasons for Brazil’s surprising success in the main round match against Croatia was their active 6-0 defence against Croatia’s seven-against-six attack. Croatia scored only one goal from eight attacks; Brazil ‘countered’ with four direct goals into the empty goal. Brazil’s 6-0 defence showed an outstanding footwork and consistently used active defence play from the non-ball side to disrupt Croatia’s passing play wherever possible. The aim was to ‘force’ the opponents into unwanted duels or ill-prepared finishing actions.

{c3a0417a-b7b8-4f2d-a3cf-8836afb0c28d,Video 20} features the relevant examples.

 

3. Active defence in empty-goal situations (playing six against six)

We also observed a clear trend regarding the defence behaviour when playing six against six in empty-goal situations: many teams try to put more pressure on the defence in these situations; some teams even switched formations (for example, 5-1 defence, 3-2-1 defence).

{ca26e7b1-a0aa-4d80-8ba5-f845267bd9c4,Video 21} provides examples of Denmark and Germany.