Saturday, June 23, 2007

Trust your goalie. Cover all offenders.

Japan won this game 5-4 over Honduras. A 9 goal total at the country vs. country level indicates very weak defenses. Let's use the first goal (here, from a Japanese video feed) to explain one of the errors: not trusting your own goalie which leads to bad marking on defense.

The Honduran player sends the ball forward in hopes that their offensive player is speedier than the defender, which he appears to be just a bit. Next, notice the Japanese defense scheme. Every team has defensive challenges. The goal in those situations is to make the other team earn every ounce of the play. Japan fails at this by not marking the TRAILING offender. Remember that these are the best players available in each COUNTRY, so they are all very skilled. That says to me that this must be a very difficult mistake to NOT make at times.

That trailing Japanese defender seems to be unable to decide between covering the man with the ball on the break away and moving to the center to cover the space that would most certainly have Honduran offenders any second. As a defender, remember in these times to expect the goalie to be of some value. From the position of the the player making the break away, there is not ever a really great shot, thanks to the best efforts of the first defender and the goalie. The second defender is responsible for this goal by not covering the middle offender or the middle space behind the keeper. The trailing Honduran offender is totally free and unmarked: easy goal.

No comments: