Dealing with Balls Cut Back from the End Line

By Patrick Kasperitis -

A common soccer tactic is for the attacking teams to have a player drive towards the end line and play a ball at a backwards angle toward the top of the 6-yard box. This type of play allows for the ball to already be behind the defenders and allows the attacking players to be able to attack the ball at an angle that is moving away from defenders and the goalkeeper. Plus because of the fact that this ball is often driven from a close distance it can be difficult for the goalkeeper to hold on to it. This exercise will train this scenario with a progression that looks at making the second save.


There are two cones placed about 4 or 5 yards off of each post. These represent spaces the goalkeeper is expected to deal with.

Cut Back Second Save 1

In this scenario there are three “goals”.

  • The first is demonstrated by the cut back space in between the front post and the front cone
  • The second is the actual goal itself
  • The third is at the back post where a chipped ball needs to be tipped away or caught.

Cut Back Second Save 2

We have to deal with these in this order. The first goal is dealt with by getting to the near post and being in a position that allows you to be ready to dive to cover the space up to the first cone. All while being ready for a potential shot at the near post.

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Cut back Second Save 3

Laslty, if the ball is tipped or gets through the goalkeeper must be ready for the second save. This will require quick reactions to get up to get across or will need awareness if the ball is cut back enough that the goalkeeper won’t get the ball. Get set in the goal and get ready for a save.

Cut Back Second Save 4

By Patrick Kasperitis - Graduate Assitant Women's Soccer Coach - St Mary's University, SA United Junior Program Goalkeeping Director, South Texas ODP Staff

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