So many goals are scored off the counter attack in soccer/football. Counters are usually when one team loses the ball in their own attacking end, allowing for the other team to take advantage of space with only a few defenders to beat. When on the counter you should go at speed to goal to prevent the opposition from covering. Counters are not the most common way goals are scored, but they are a top 3 way. Below you’ll learn how to defend and attack on the counter.
A counter attack usually happens when one team loses the ball on their end – when they shouldn’t lose it.
There are certain times a player will lose the ball when their teammate just doesn’t expect it, therefore causing a numerical disadvantage.
Counter attack drills
There are several things coaches can do to improve counter attack futbol…
- Transition 2v2’s going to goal: Two players go to the goal against 2 others… Once the attacking team shoots the coach plays a different ball to two new players who start at that goal. Immediately the 2 players who just shot have to sprint back and defend the two new players. It helps keep the players minds sharp and ready to defend. Goals can be full size with a keeper or smaller w/o a GK.
- 4v4+1, counters to 2v1 and 3v2: At the half line, set up a rondo grid 40×30 yards… Then, between the half line and the 18 yard box have a defender with a striker in front of them [later you can add an additional defender in front]. In the grid are 4 players in blue vs 4 yellow. The 4 players in yellow start with the ball playing 2 touches max… Once they lose the ball, blue goes for the counter attack by linking up with the striker… From there 1 blue joins – making a 2v1. You can adapt to this in so many ways with extra defenders or allow more to join the attack from the grid… 3v2 Example: When you add the 2nd defender, allow for 2 blues to join. Watch video below.
How to defend the counter attack
Keep “plus 1” which means you have 1 extra defender back at all times… If the other team has 2 strikers up top, then you need 3 defenders back. When the other team only has 1 up top, you need 2 defenders.
During a counter attack, the deepest defender needs to drop off to allow for more help from other players coming back to help cover.
Another reason the last defender needs to drop off is, if they get beat early on near half field the attacking team has loads of space/time to look up and beat the keeper.
The player closest to the ball needs to put immediate pressure!
Try to cut off the pass to the player closest to the goal.
Also do your best to keep or make the ball go wide, not allowing them to dribble or pass down the middle.
If possible, try to make contact [maybe even a professional foul] to keep the attacking team from scoring an easy goal… A free kick 40 yards away from the goal is not a danger. Although, the player who fouls better not have a current yellow card or too many fouls already or they could get a 2nd yellow / red card.
The players who are covering need to sprint back – 100% effort… Too often you’ll see players jogging instead of running full speed.
Last, the worst thing that can happen is to dive in [missing the tackle] allowing for a break away.
When counter attacks happen most
- Corner kicks. Usually defenders go up and you only have 2-3 players back. To prevent counters you have to know how to position players on attacking corners.
- Losing the ball when you shouldn’t [4v2 situations in the middle third]. Therefore, a team has numbers up in possession and someone makes a bad pass or keeps the ball too long and loses it.
- When dominating a team in possession and chances, which gives your team confidence to push players forward.
Run and move the ball at speed
When you have the opportunity for a counter attack the movements need to be fast. Although, there are times the player with the ball needs to slow down to allow teammates to catch up and receive the ball behind the defender.
The dribbler, runners off the ball and passes need to be quick and precise.
If you do these things, you’ll get a chance at goal before the other team gets back behind the ball.
Our Most Popular Posts:
- 3 ways to strike the ball with power
- How to boost confidence in soccer
- 8 best 1st- touch drills
- Expert dribbling tips
- Goal side defending
Follow @GFTskills on Social Media