Football Language: To bury the ball in the back of the net

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This post explains the football term ‘To bury the ball in the back of the net’. Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below, while you can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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To bury the ball in the back of the net

We have lots of different ways of describing goals in football and when a player really strikes the ball hard and gives the keeper no chance we can say that the player has buried the ball in the back of the net – he or she has scored with a really hard shot. Of course, the verb ‘to bury‘ means to put something in the ground and so in football the suggestion is that if a player buries the ball in the back of the net, the ball is not coming back; it is an emphatic goal and the keeper and defence can do nothing about it. Sometimes we might hear the shortened form ‘she buried it’ meaning that the ball was emphatically struck into the goal or net. We can also hear examples where a player has buried a pass or a centre/cross which means they scored an emphatic goal from this pass or centre.

Example: ‘Nairn buried the ball in the far corner of the net for her first goal with Reign FC since her 2013 rookie (debut) season.’ (TheBold: Seattle Reign FC, May 2017).

Example: Lukaku buried captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s hanging far-post cross with an inch-perfect header (Belfast, September 14)

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BEpisode 739