Too many goals conceded through poor defending

I generally like soccer tactic geek sites like Zonal Marking and find a lot of their analysis quite good. Sometimes though it really over-complicates what teams are trying to do and why things happened. Often, the answers are pretty obvious and, in the case of goals against, come down to poor individual defending.  I’ve mentioned two already (Mexico’s goal vs South Africa and Argentina’s goal vs Nigeria) Here’s some other examples of goals to this point in the World Cup that were entirely preventable besides the obvious blunders by keepers like Green (England), Chaouchi (Algeria) and Villar (Paraguay).

Lee Jung-Soo (South Korea) v Greece: Stupid place for Seitaridis to give away a free kick and totally unnecessary. He had Lee Young-Pyo in the corner facing the crowd with very few options and he bundles into the back of him. Yes it was a very unfortunate flick on by the Greek defender but Lee Jungsoo is allowed to glide in unmarked and in front of the defender covering the Korean sealing the far post. If you let someone have an uncontested touch of the ball from two yards out…guess what? They’re going to score.

Park Ji-Sund (South Korea) v Greece: Park Ji-Sung makes Vyntara look the fool by stealing the ball off his foot and racing towards goal before slotting calmly for Korea’s second. Was it all Vyntara’s fault. No. Mostly his fault as his lack of awareness led him to believe he could open up with his first touch and play to his right. Park though got an early read and stayed out of Vyntara’s line of sight, anticipating he would take the ball off his back foot and look to switch play. We’ll never know if it happened or not but the Greek player that Park came off of to pressure Vyntara should have been screaming man-on so Vyntara would know he had to play the ball first time up the field or at least away from the on-rushing Park. Easily preventable.

Gerrard (England) v USA: You’re on USA. You’re playing England. You’re hardly going to be unfamiliar with who you’re matching up against. So why does Ricardo Clark completely turn off and start ball watching when he’s marking Steven Gerrard (!) and allow him to ghost in behind, receive a pass and slot past Howard in goal? Carlos Bocanegro probably stayed a little too wide too long to guard against the touchline-hugging Lennon but the fact is that Gerrard came from midfield into the box, something he does very, very often and Clark should have been goal side, tracking his run.

Gyan (Ghana) v Serbia: What is Kuzmanovic thinking? Totally unnecessary penalty to give away.

Klose (Germany v Australia: You think I’m going to blame Schwartzer but that’s not where the blame lies. Similar to the England goal, if you’re Australia you need to have the awareness to know that Miroslave Klose is a World Cup headed goal phenomenon. So you can try to mark him well in the box but you really need to address the source of the goals: crosses. So why do the Aussies sit back on the throw in and allow Lahm acres of space to flight a cross into the box for Klose? Sure Schwartzer should have come faster and meaner for the cross but that’s what you get when you put a 37 year old in goal: doubt and apprehension. The root of the problem was allowing a team that has scored 32 goals with their head in World Cup since 1966 (when the next best is Italy with 18) to put crosses into the box uncontested from throw ins.

Honda (Japan) v Cameroon: The usual striker-peels-off-to-far-post while the defender who should be marking him thinks he can head the cross clear but misses it leaving the striker, Honda, enough time to bring it down and finish from in close. Happens too often at youth soccer levels. Don’t expect to see it here.

Daniel Agger (Denmark) v Holland (own goal): Technique on demand is a common expression amongst coaches. While the og was credited to Agger, the culprit is of course Poulsen who completely flubs his lines. He had an opportunity to head clear and contacts the ball in a manner that suggests a nine year old who’s afraid of the ball. Instead of heading away from goal it goes towards goal, off Agger’s back and into the goal. Comedy gold. If you’re Dutch.

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