Football Language: To tuck away
Right, I’m going to talk about a verb phrase, to tuck away. This phrasal verb means to put something safely away. For example, someone might tuck some money away in a draw each week to save it and keep it safe. We can also use it in the passive construction, be tucked away, and this is often used to describe a building in a quiet street – her house was tucked away in the corner of the park. The nuance is of a house difficult to see but safe and cosy. Now in football this phrase is used to describe a goal. If a player tucks the ball away, he or she guides the ball past the goalkeeper safely into the net. The feeling is that the player may have missed or the keeper may have saved the shot, but in the end it was scored safely. You could also say tuck the ball past or to tuck the ball across the goalkeeper to describe the same kind of goal.
Here is an example from a match in 2006 between England and Greece (BBC 2006): ‘Crouch also steered a Steven Gerrard cross wide of the upright when he might have tucked the ball away.’ Here the player missed the chance to tuck the ball away. Here is another example from The Telegraph reporting on a game between Liverpool and Tottenham this season: ‘Sanchez tried to get back but Salah’s first touch allowed him time to tuck the ball low across Lloris. The clock read just two minutes and 50 seconds.’ To tuck away.