When we use the expression ‘to kill off the game‘ in football we mean that one team is trying to make it difficult for the other team to make a comeback; they want to finish them off and make the three points certain. In a recent Premier League game Manchester City were leading Everton 1-0 and dominating the game – they had created lots of chances – but had failed to score a second goal which would have almost certainly meant that City would win the game. With five minutes to go, the away side (Everton) had a couple of chances and the home fans became nervous as they realised that their team should have easily wrapped up the points by this stage. Sure enough, Everton equalised at the end of the game to earn a share of the spoils. The City manager, players and fans were frustrated as they had not killed off the game when they had all of their earlier chances. To kill off the game.
Example: The team were leading at half-time but despite their pressure were not able to kill off their opponents who scored a late equaliser.
Example: United scored a second to kill off City near the end of the game.
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Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.