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Archive Language Point 49
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Football vocabulary

Tim and Alice at the World Cup
Here is some vocabulary about playing and scoring football.


a match
two teams playing against each other in a 90-minute game of football

a pitch
the area where footballers play a match

a referee
the person who makes sure that the players follow the rules. Normally wears a black shirt and shorts, and has a whistle

a linesman (referee's assistant)
the person whose main duty it is to indicate with a flag when the ball has gone out of play, when a player is offside or when a player should take a corner

a goalkeeper
the player in goal who has to stop the ball from crossing the goal-line. The only player who is allowed to handle the ball during open play

an attacker
also called a striker or a forward; a player whose duty it is to score goals, e.g. Samuel Eto'o is an attacker and plays in attack for Barcelona and Cameroon

the skipper
the player who leads a team, also called the captain

a substitute
a player who sits on the bench ready to replace another team-mate on the pitch

a manager
the person in charge of a team and responsible for training, new players and transfers. For example, Alex Ferguson is the manager of Manchester United


the score
the record of goals that indicates who is winning. The final score is the result that decides who has won the match . Can also be used as a verb, e.g. the attacker scored a beautiful goal

to concede
to allow a goal in, the opposite of scoring a goal. For example, Ghana conceded only four goals in the World Cup qualifying group 2

a goal
a successful attempt at scoring achieved by putting the ball over the goal line into the goal past the goalkeeper

an own goal
a goal scored accidentally by a member of the defending team that counts in favour of the attacking team

the lead
when a team scores first it is "in the lead", i.e. winning the match at the point of scoring

an equaliser
a goal that cancels out the opposing team's lead and leaves the match tied or drawn

a win
a match in which a team is victorious and beats the other team. A win normally gives the winning team three points, the losing team does not get any points. More commonly used as a verb, e.g. Brazil won the World Cup in 2002 game

a draw
a match that ends in a tie, i.e. has no winner or loser. The teams get one point each for a draw. Can also be used as a verb, e.g. Congo drew 0-0 (nil all) with Senegal in June

Types of shots

a kick
to hit something, or somebody, with your foot. In football, the players kick the ball

to shoot
to kick the ball towards the net at one end of the pitch (the goal) in an attempt to score a goal

the kick-off
the first kick of the game when two players from the same team in the centre circle play the ball and start the match. Also the first kick after half-time or after a goal has been scored

a goal-kick
a kick taken from the 6-yard line by the defending team after the ball has been put over the goal-line (or byline) by the attacking team

a free-kick
the kick awarded to a team by the referee after a foul has been committed against it

a penalty
a free shot at goal from 12 yards (11 metres or the penalty spot) awarded by the referee to a team after a foul has been committed in the penalty area

a corner
a kick from the corner flag awarded to the attacking team when the ball has crossed the goal-line (or byline) after last being touched by a player of the defending team

a throw-in
a throw is taken from the sideline (or touchline) after the ball has gone out of play. The only time a player can handle the ball without committing a foul


I'm gutted (informal):
I'm very disappointed

a scapegoat:
a person who is wrongly blamed when something goes wrong

(often used when talking about competitions) not winning any prizes.

commiserate with someone:
show pity for someone's misfortune or bad luck

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