Football Language: Last Ditch Defending

Last Ditch (Defending)

last ditch

This phrase is connected with warfare. A ditch is a defensive position, a trench or a hole in the ground, which stops attackers crossing a defending army’s lines. There would be a serious of defensive lines like this, so the last ditch is the final obstacle to stop an attack. If the attack crosses this they will defeat the defenders. In football last ditch defending, therefore, means desperate defence. Defenders will throw themselves in front of shots, slide in front of attackers and do anything to stop conceding a goal.

  • Example: In the Olympic Games mens football final in 2016 between Germany and Brazil, last ditch defending by Germany meant the game went to extra time.

Similar phrases include: backs to the walls defending, and to hold on.

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Football GlossaryEpisode 644