Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

One of the great FA Cup goals started with an interception

By David Clarke

Ryan Giggs has been a prolific goal scoring attacker for Manchester United. One of the goals he is remembered for is the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal.

It was a game that had everything, a great Arsenal goal by Dennis Bergkamp, a disallowed Arsenal goal, Roy Keane sent off for a second bookable offence, a last minute penalty save by Peter Schmeichel and a fantastic goal by Ryan Giggs to win the game.

But what is often overlooked is that Giggs won the ball by intercepting a pass before running from the half-way line, beating five defenders and scoring past Schmeichel.

An interception is as good as, and sometimes better, than winning the ball in the tackle. In youth soccer an interception can catch the whole team out and create space for goal scoring opportunities.

You can get your players to try and intercept the ball by reacting to it quicker than the opposition. A lot of junior players will wait for the ball to come to them from a pass which gives the defenders chance to step in and take the ball before it gets to them.

Get your players to think about:

  • Read what the opposition midfield and strikers like to do.
  • Keep an eye out for players waiting for passes to come to them.
  • Be ready to block through balls from midfield to attack.
  • Interceptions give good opportunities to pass or run with the ball into space so don’t waste them.


1 Comment so far
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That was a great 6 minutes of action. I love you ideas about teaching young players to anticipate and think about intercepting balls. It can be such a game-changer!

Comment by steve-O

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