Top corners and free kicks from the World Cup so far

The 2018 World Cup has seen a number of interesting, well planned and well executed set pieces. Particularly in the opening round of matches, when games were tight with teams not wanting to get off to a bad start, there has been a high percentage of goals scored from dead ball situations.

Set pieces are an important part of the game. From an attacking point of view, your team has a distinct advantage by being able to plan and practise particular set plays so your players know precisely what is going to happen, while the defending team can generally only react to what’s going on.

We’ve picked out some of our favourite set piece routines from the group phase matches, and set them up using Globall Coach to show you how the tool can be used to get the clever ideas from your head, prepare your set plays and present them to your players. We also presented a video on Facebook Live to demonstrate these and how we can break them down using Globall Coach (click HERE to watch).

Let’s first look at some clever corner kick routines which have been used in Russia.

1 - England v Tunisia - Kane 2nd goal

England had used the same corner kick routine numerous times during this game, and it had caused Tunisia problems throughout. So when they needed a goal in injury time to win the game, they had a tried and tested set play to turn to, and it paid dividends.

2 - Spain v Iran - Goalmouth scramble

This corner didn’t result in a goal but it was a very creative routine which almost worked perfectly for Spain. A similar corner was used by Girona in La Liga in 2017/18 which resulted in a goal against Celta Vigo and the Spanish used a variation of it against Iran which caused the biggest goalmouth scramble of the World Cup so far.

3 - Colombia v Poland - Mina goal

With the defence seemingly expecting a ball into the box, Colombia capitalised by taking a quick and short corner which exploited on an overload in the wide area and some clever creating of space in the penalty box which allowed Yerry Mina to have a free header to give his side the lead.

We have also seen some impressive free kicks through the opening phase of the World Cup, so let’s take a look at some of our favourites.

1 - Spain v Portugal - Diego Costa 2nd goal

In one of the best matches of the tournament to date, Spain used a clever free kick to make it 2-2 against rivals Portugal with one of their best headers of the ball, Sergio Busquets, attacking the cross to the back post and runners anticipating and attacking the second ball which led to Diego Costa steering it home.

2 - England v Panama - Stones 2nd goal

England used a similar free kick to the aforementioned Spain one. The only difference was Jordan Henderson coming short to receive the ball, dragging a defender out before delivering the cross to the far post. The goalkeeper made a good initial save but England had players anticipating the rebound, in this case John Stones, to score.

3 - Uruguay v Russia - Suarez goal (free kick)

This free kick routine is different to the other two as it is a direct shot at goal. Uruguay place two players in the defensive wall to act as a screen. The plan, we believe, was for the two players to spin out of the wall to create the space for Luis Suarez to fire the ball into the corner of the net, but a Russian defender took it upon himself to force them out of the way! The end result was the same.

All the set pieces we have mentioned have been from an attacking point of view. So let’s finally have a look at a side working on the best way to defend a set piece.

Japan took an approach against Senegal which is rarely used, but if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, it is hugely effective; the offside trap. The African side stood taller than their Asian counterparts, so the chances are that the Senegalese attackers would win the header from a cross into the danger zone. They had eight defenders across the edge of the penalty area, and each of them stepped up at precisely the right time to catch a number of Senegal players offside. Genius!

Imagination knows no boundaries and you can always come up with new ideas for free kick and corner routines. Globall Coach is an easy-to-use tool which allows you to transfer those ideas onto the screen and then communicate it clearly to your players. Let your imagination run wild with Globall Coach.

Paul Harper