2v2 Defending: Defensive Cover

The principles of defending are applicable right across the pitch, but in front of our team’s own goal they must be employed in an even sharper manner. Practicing within small-sided games is the ideal way to introduce our players to the different situations of 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2 and 3v3 and the best tactics to deal with them.

2v2 In Front Of Goal

This is the 3rd post in a 5-part series on Defending the Goal. You can read part one (1v1 defending) here and read part two (2v1 defending) here.

Defending 2v2 (a)

Technical Point – Sort Out The Ball Carrier First

In any situation the most immediate threat comes from the ball-carrier. Therefore the principles of 1v1 defending must be applied, with the nearest defender closing the attacker along the direct line to goal (A) and then jockeying until an opportunity to nip the ball away arises.

As we have seen the second defender would cover their teammate along the same line in a 2v1 situation. But the danger is different if the attacker has the option to pass the ball, as in a 2v2 scenario.

Soccer tactics - Defending 2v2 (b)

Technical Point – Cover The Pass And The Dribble

Soccer Tactics - 2v2 Defending (c)
When a pass is an option the covering defender’s position must be affected. In this case the player must hedge their bets and stand between the two lines to goal (A and B).

From a good cover position the second defender can quickly press the receiver if the ball is passed (as in the image on the right). As soon as the ball is released the defender must move across to block the second attacker’s direct route to goal, preventing a quick shot.

At this point the roles switch around and the first defender should take up a cover position.

Technical Point – Make Strong Recovery Runs

Soccer Tactics - 2v2 Defending (d)

The covering player must also be positioned so that if the first attacker dribbles past the first defender, then the cover player can get across and block the line to goal before the attacker can shoot (as in the image to the right).

The first defender must make a strong recovery run to get back to a goalside position as quickly as possible. However, the pass to the second attacker is now much more dangerous because that player is open and therefore the recovery run should be to a cover position rather than straight back towards the first attacker.

By quickly adjusting and recovering their positions the defenders can stall the attackers until support arrives or force the attacking players to rush and lose possession.

  • Was this helpful? :
    Loading ... Loading ...

Did you like this article?

blog comments powered by Disqus