Counter attacking goals in this WC and past WCs

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Scipio Africanus
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Counter attacking goals in this WC and past WCs

Post by Scipio Africanus »

The counter gets a bad rap but it is often the safest and most reliable way to score goals.

Germany destroyed Argentina 4-0 and England 4-1 in 2010 with the counter attack. Deschamps' France is heavily reliant on the counter to create space for Mbappe to release his jets or for Griezmann to deliver quality passes. They won the 2018 WC while having less than 40% possession in many of their games.

Netherlands vs USA, England vs Senegal, Argentina vs Croatia and many more in this WC, all were games won with the counter.

Obvious points:

It's easiest to score when you have space AND time.

How do you create space AND time? Not by attacking frantically. Any competent team has all the spaces covered and you will just be banging your head against the wall. Example USA against Netherlands, or Senegal against Netherlands and England, or Brazil against Croatia.

You create space and time to attack by letting the other team attack you, then when they have committed men forward, recover the ball in critical position and push forward QUICKLY. You have acres of space to work with now.

When you are pushing forward quickly, you don't need more than two forwards running into space. More than that overcomplicates the attacking move. See Brazil attacking with everybody plus the kitchen sink against Croatia, or USA attacking with the whole 82nd airborne against every team they faced in this WC, or Senegal banging their heads against the wall versus Netherlands and England. Not effective. Overcomplicates the final ball.

See Netherlands goals vs USA, England's goals vs Senegal, Croatia's equalizing goal against Brazil. When you have created space AND time, the final pass into the box doesn't have to be pinpoint accurate. The recipient has time to adjust and deliver the killer blow.

Not all counters are obvious. The most obvious ones start when you recover the ball deep in your own half, but many dangerous counter opportunities also arise when you recover the ball higher up the pitch, like Portugal did for their 2nd (and 3rd?) goals against Ghana.


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Molue Conductor
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Re: Counter attacking goals in this WC and past WCs

Post by Molue Conductor »

Arsenal's Invincibles were a counter attacking team. You need a disciplined defense them can pass the ball out intelligently as to counter attack you have to invite pressure.

Sort of similar to the idea of playing out of the backb to create space
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Re: Counter attacking goals in this WC and past WCs

Post by Undertaker »

The issue is that both teams in a match can't play like that or else it will be a very boring match. I have a feeling both France and Argentina are going to try to do that tomorrow. Give the other the ball, conceding possession and hope to catch the other on counter attack. It may turnout to be a very boring match settle on PK'S
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Re: Counter attacking goals in this WC and past WCs

Post by theDunamis »

Undertaker wrote: Sat Dec 17, 2022 9:44 am The issue is that both teams in a match can't play like that or else it will be a very boring match. I have a feeling both France and Argentina are going to try to do that tomorrow. Give the other the ball, conceding possession and hope to catch the other on counter attack. It may turnout to be a very boring match settle on PK'S

Actually, the thing about this French team is that they are capable of playing both a possession game and a cede possession and counterattack game. Going into the semi-final match, the possession stats were expected to be overwhelmingly French based on Morocco's previous stats:

MAR 27% -- POR 73% (1-0)
MAR 23% -- ESP 77% (0-0)
MAR 41% -- CAN 59% (2-1)
MAR 33% -- BEL 67% (2-0)
MAR 35% -- CRO 65% (0-0)

With an early French goal though, the Moroccans were forced to play an uncharacteristic possession game and the French team was all too happy to cede possession and find spaces within and behind a well-known stingy defense. Giving us an unfamiliar possession stat for the game:

FRA 38% -- MAR 61% (2-0).

But it was mostly unfamiliar from the Moroccan side of the stat. Looking at Frances other possession stats, we see a team able to morph not just for each game but within each game and have the capability to play the game required to get the result they need / want. The game against Tunisia being the aberration for clear and obvious reasons.

FRA 43% -- ENG 57% (2-1)
FRA 55% -- POL 45% (3-1)
FRA 66% -- TUN 34% (0-1)
FRA 48% -- DEN 52% (2-1)
FRA 62% -- AUS 38% (4-1)

Argentina seems capable of adjusting with and within each game too:

ARG 39% -- CRO 61% (3-0)
ARG 48% -- NED 52% (2-2)
ARG 61% -- AUS 39% (2-1)
ARG 73% -- POL 27% (2-0)
ARG 58% -- MEX 42% (2-0)
ARG 69% -- KSA 31% (1-2)

So, I don't believe we will see a boring final with 2 teams trying to cede possession and counterattack. Instead, we will see 2 teams able to react and change their game execution based on what they each need to do to get the desired result. It will be an interesting match. The expected cat and mouse between 2 heavyweights to size each other up and determine what the other is trying to do while also trying to force the game to be played on each of their terms and game plans. And then once that is resolved in the typical 15 to 20 minutes OR once and if first blood is drawn, BOOM -- fireworks.
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