Defending a 2v1 Situation

By Jebreel Bubtana

Learning how to defend a 2v1 is very important, as it is a situation that comes up many times during the course of a game.

Set up the field as shown below in figure 1. Mini goals or Pugg goals can be used in the top right and top left corners of the area. The exercise starts with the defender who passes the ball across the area to the two attackers.

Article 18 Defending a 2v1 situation- 1

The attackers try to dribble the ball through the gate on the other side of the field in the middle. The defender must curve their run as shown by the arrow in figure 2.

Article 18 Defending a 2v1 situation- 2

The defender must then get into the side on position to show the attacker down the line as shown by figure 3 below, forcing a dribble rather than a pass to their team mate which would make scoring against the defender easy. If the defender wins the ball then they pass the ball into the mini goals at the other end of the area. This is to signify winning the ball from the attackers and passing it to a teammate to start a new attack, as they would do in a real game.

Article 18 Defending a 2v1 situation- 3


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Coaching Points:

  • The defender must close down the space to the attackers quickly
  • When closing down they must curve their run and get into the side on position to make the pass to the other attacker very difficult, forcing the attacker with the ball into a dribble.
  • If the ball does get passed to the other attacker then the defender must adjust their body quickly to force the other attacker into a dribble.
  • When the defender wins the ball they must get their head up quickly to see where the mini goals are, much like winning the ball in a real game and getting their head up quickly to pass to a teammate.

For this exercise to be effective, make sure that the defenders have enough soccer balls to pass across and keep the exercise continuous. One of the good things about this exercise if that the defender will work hard for a short period of time then rest for a short period before having to work hard again, this is very much like what would happen in a real game.

Jebreel Bubtana
Director of Marketing
BRASA – Brazilian Soccer Academy
NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma
Follow me on Twitter @jib1989

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