How to defend a corner kick?
First thing first, in modern soccer, when a team can not score goals, they tend to rely on corners to have an advantage in the game.
This is because corner kicks are easier to score when you have a good set-piece specialist and tall players in your team. And most teams work on several corner kick set plays to increase their chances in corners.
So, it is important to know how to defend a corner kick.
Great for you, in this article, you are going to learn how you can easily prepare your team for defending corners in the game.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
How To Defend A Corner Kick?
Here is what you need to do to defend a corner kick:
- Put one player on the front post
- Leave two players up front
- The goalie should take advantage of his hands as much as possible
- Clear the ball high and wide
- Two players must come out during a short corner
- Close down clearances or second balls
- Organise the defensive line after the ball has been cleared
1-Put One Player On The Front Post
The first thing you have to know to defend a corner kick is the players’ positioning during that moment of the game.
You should always put one player on the closest post to where the corner is being played.
Most professional teams tend to put one of their full-backs on the post. But, if your full-backs are strong in the air, it is preferable to put a forward on the post.
But, what’s the advantage of having a player on the front post?
The advantage of having a player on the front post is to support the goalie and protect the goal.
For example, if the corner taker is trying to score directly, the player on the front post can easily prevent it while the goalie is protecting the back post area.
Let’s move on to the next tip.
2-Leave Two Players Up Front For A Counter Attack
One of the most common questions people ask is whether all players should defend during a corner or whether some should stay upfront.
The answer is simple: it is preferable to leave some players up front.
Having two players upfront will guarantee a potential counterattack. This means the opposing team will have no choice than keeping some of their defenders back.
And for you, this is great because you won’t have to defend the corner kick with all of the opposing team’s players.
The fewer players the attacking team have in the box, the easier it will be for you to defend.
3-The Goalie Should Catch Or Punch The Ball
The role of the goalie during the corner kick isn’t just to stand and wait to make a save.
Goalies should try to catch or punch the ball if it comes close to them. The most important is to clear the ball away as far as possible.
The most common mistake the majority of goalies make during corners is to come out and miss the ball. When this happens, the attacking team might use this opportunity to score since the goal area becomes empty.
This is also the reason why the percentage of goals during corner kicks is getting higher. For example, according to Theathletic.com, 3.4 per cent of corner kicks resulted in a goal in the premier league during this decade.
So, the goalkeeper needs to be accurate when they come out to punch the ball away.
4-Clear The Ball High And Wide
When defending corners, it is preferable to clear the ball high and wide rather than central.
If you clear the ball right outside the centre of the box, an opposing player might take it and shoot on goal.
So, it’s safer to clear the ball wide.
5-Two Players Must Come Out During Short Corners
Most teams prefer to play a short corner rather than a long one.
But, what is a short corner?
We refer to short corners when the corner taker passes the ball(short pass) to a teammate rather than putting the ball in the box.
So, a teammate gets closer to the corner taker and asks for the ball/
What should your team do in this situation?
Well, two players in your team should follow the player who is trying to receive the short pass.
Having two players rather than one will ensure a 2v2 situation, which, is preferable for you and your team.
6-Close Down Clearances Or Second Balls
If you manage to clear the ball away and a player from the attacking team gets it in front of the box, one of your teammates should close him down.
The nearest player should run towards him and close him down as quickly as possible.
You should never give space to an opposing player right in front of your box. If the player has a good shooting ability and receives the ball in this area, he can punish your team with a perfect strike and score.
7-Organise The Defensive Line After The Ball Has Been Cleared
After the ball has been cleared, it is important to organise your defensive line.
But, who should organise the defensive line during a corner kick?
The defensive line from corners is different from the normal one dictated by the centre back.
So, your deepest player(player on the post) should be responsible to organise the defensive line.
During the corner, if your team manages to clear the ball away, all players should come out of the box.
But, why is it important for players to come out of the box?
Well, it’s important to come out of the box and organise the defensive line after a corner kick and play the offside.
Here is a scenario that could happen: The corner taker plays the ball, you clear it away and a player from the attacking team gets it, and plays it back in the box. If the deepest player of your team joins the defensive line and all of you come out of the box, the striker from the opposing team would be offside.
This article was all about how to defend a corner kick in soccer.
As you have seen, defending corners can be simple if you follow the right strategies.
These strategies include putting one player on the front post, leaving two players up front, clearing the ball high and wide, intercepting short corners, closing down second balls and organising the defensive line.
I hope you have gained value from this article.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section below.