Soccer game to put defenders under pressure

You often see a defence under pressure in youth soccer (football) games. The opposition make all the right decisions and create goal-scoring opportunities because your defenders do not know what to do when they are outnumbered.

Use this small-sided game to coach your defenders how to organise when they have more attackers running at them than they have defenders.

Game to get defenders organising

One of the challenges of this soccer game is that the players have to defend two goals.

However, this can work in their favour because it forces the attackers to make decisions and pass the ball wide to attack the goals.

So you get two soccer coaching points out of this game:
  • Attackers must take advantage of greater numbers but make decisions about which goal to attack.

  • Defenders must be fit and clever enough to force play inside and try to make the attackers make a mistake and lose the ball.
Here's how the game works
  • Set up a 30m wide x 20m pitch and put two goals on the same side of one 30m line.

  • Have two teams of four players, and a goalkeeper in each goal.

  • Number the defending team 1 - 4 and have 1 player rest on each attack, so you have 4 attackers, 3 defenders and 2 goalkeepers in play.

  • Set out four cones on the side opposite the goals and get an attacker to stand on each cone.

  • The soccer coach gives the attackers the ball and they have to try and score.

  •  After the ball is lost or a goal is scored, the attacking team runs back to the cones and gets another ball.

  • After eight balls, the teams change sides.

Small-sided soccer game to get defenders practising when outnumbered by attackers
Click here to order a copy of 64 Small-Sided Soccer Games, written by Michael Beale, Chelsea FC academy coach.

Click here for a soccer drill to coach defenders in the skills for keeping an attacker at bay.

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