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2022 World Cup Language Podcast: Day 4 – Thumping Strike (Japan v Germany)

Day 4 of the 2022 tournament and yet more shocks as Japan defeat Germany 2-1 with a second-half turnaround. In this podcast we look at a description of the goal from a BBC report and explain the words: ‘tight angle‘; ‘thumping strike‘ and ‘squeezed in‘. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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2022 World Cup Language Podcast: Day 4 – Thumping Strike (Japan v Germany)

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. I’m Damian and I am in London where the World Cup excitement is starting, just a little, to build. I wonder what it is like in Tokyo, where co-presenter Damon is based, after that amazing 2-1 come-from-behind victory for Japan over Germany? We are going to look at some of the language used to describe the winning goal from that game in today’s World Cup language podcast and in particular we will be looking at the phrases, ‘tight angle‘; ‘thumping strike‘ and ‘squeezed in‘ which were all used in the BBC report of the game.

Don’t forget that over the rest of the tournament we will be explaining some of the words and phrases from the 2022 World Cup that is currently taking place in Qatar and we have already looked at ‘totally outplayed‘ from day one; ‘game of two halves‘ from day two and yesterday we looked at the verb ‘to stun‘ after Saudi Arabia’s incredible win against Argentina. OK, let’s take a look at the language describing the winning Japanese goal from their game against Germany.

Stinger: You are listening to (from Germany)

Day 4 – Thumping Strike (Japan v Germany)

Substitute Takuma Asano squeezed in a thumping strike from a tight angle to make it 2-1 to Japan (, November 23 2022)
What a victory for Japan! To come from behind to beat the four-time World Cup winners Germany was amazing. Here is how the BBC reported on the winning goal.

The Japanese substitute Asano scored a brilliant winning goal by hitting the ball hard and high past the German keeper Neuer. Because the Japanese player was on the right-hand side of the goal, there was not much room to beat the keeper at his near post and this is why the verb ‘squeeze‘ has been used. To squeeze past something is to get past something even though there is not much space so the Japanese forward still managed to score despite the fact that there was little room for the ball to go past the keeper. One way of beating the keeper at their near post is to hit the ball really hard and this is what the phrase ‘thumping strike‘ means – he thumped the ball is to really hit the ball hard and is similar to the phrase ‘smash’, while a strike is another way of saying a shot and thi has the meaning of having a lot of power, for example, we might hear the phrase ‘a fierce strike’; a really hard shot. We have already mentioned that there was not much room for the Japanese player to score because he was on the right-hand side of the goal which means that the angle is quite narrow or tight – it’s quite small. A tight angle, therefore, means that there is not a lot of space to aim at. So, the Japanese sub (or substitute), Asano, scored with a hard shot that beat the German goalkeeper at his near post even though there was very little room to do so. A fantastic goal to beat Germany.

Stinger: You are listening to (In Japanese)


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Stinger: You are listening to (French fan).


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from a French supporter. It would be great to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to‘. Don’t forget there’s a transcript to this short podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We think it’s a great resource for those learning and teaching the language.

OK, that’s it for this podcast – our fourth of the World Cup – in which we look back at some World Cup football language. This time we looked at the phrases, ‘tight angle‘; ‘thumping strike‘ and ‘squeezed in‘ which were all used to describe the Japanese winning goal against Germany from the BBC report on the game. Great stuff Japan! We’ll be back with some more World Cup football language tomorrow. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you then. Bye bye!

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