Follow me:

Football Language Podcast: Women’s [2023] World Cup Play-off – Scotland v Ireland

On this football language podcast for learners of English, we look at some of the language to describe the winning Irish goal in the 2023 World Cup play-off match against Scotland. 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

Contact Us  Forum Glossary World Cup Resources

Football Language Podcast: Women’s [2023] World Cup Play-off – Scotland v Ireland

Embed from Getty Images

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to – the football-language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game of football. I’m Damian and I am one half of the Languagecaster team and I’m here in London where the weather is bright and a little sunny – a typical Autumn day, while the other Langugecaster team member is Damon and he is based in Japan.

Now, on this short podcast, we are going to look at the Women’s World Cup and in particular at one of the European play-offs that took place earlier this week to decide which teams would go to the finals that take place in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Of course, the Japanese side (Nadeshiko) will be among the favourites to win the title but I am going to take a look at some of the language used to describe the winning goal for the Irish Women’s Football team in their [2023] World Cup play-off game against Scotland last week. The win sent the Irish to their first ever World Cup in their history and the whole country is now super excited about this Irish team.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Irish)

Cushioned header/Threaded a pass/Sliding a lovely finish

Embed from Getty Images

Fahey’s cushioned header found O’Sullivan who threaded a terrific pass through to Barrett – who had come on for Payne. The Donegal woman took it in her stride magnificently before sliding a lovely finish beyond Alexander. (
Let’s take a look at how the RTE website [the Irish state broadcaster]… how they described the winning goal.

So, there’s quite a lot of information in these two sentences. In the first one, we can see that an Irish player passed to a team mate with a gentle headed pass – a cushioned header. A cushioned header is one that is controlled, that guides the ball carefully to a team mate. If a player cushions the ball it means that they have taken the power and pace off the ball and so it is easier for their team mates to control the ball and this is what the Irish player Fahey did when passing to O’Sullivan. She then passed the ball to the substitute Amber Barrett and this pass was described as a threaded pass – she threaded a terrific or wonderful pass through to her team mate. To thread a pass suggests a lot of accuracy as there is not a lot of space for the player to pass to their team mate but O’Sullivan did this and found Barrett; so the pass successfully reached Barrett. The forward, who is from a place in the north-west of Ireland called Donegal, then controlled the ball while she was running and this is explained by the phrase ‘took it in her stride‘ (‘it’ of course is the ball). So, she didn’t have to stop to control the ball but instead ran on to reach the perfect threaded pass. So now the Irish forward is running towards the Scottish goal and as the keeper comes out she places the ball to the keeper’s left and as the ball was on the ground the whole time, we can say that she slid the ball past the keeper. To slide the ball suggests that the ball was guided carefully past the keeper with the ball on the pitch the whole time – she placed the ball into the net. Ireland hung on to win and qualified for the 2023 World Cup finals.

Stinger: You are listening to (In Twi from Ghana)

Top Corner

Embed from Getty Images

Now here at we are always interested in how other languages describe football and recently we looked at the phrase ‘top corner’ and Zdenek explained how this phrase is said in the Czech language – you might remember that it is connected to the word ‘gallows’. Well, another listener, this time Marco, has been in contact to say that in Italian they say, ‘sotto l’incrocio’ – I apologise Marco for my Italian pronunciation – and this means ‘below the cross’ as it’s the point on which the bar and the post cross. He went on to say that there is another expression, ‘nel sette’ (on the seven) as the cross between the post and the bar resembles the number 7. That’s great! Thank you so much Marco for that explanation. And again apologies for my pronunciation.


If you know any other football terms to describe this part of the goal or indeed any other football language expressions you would like to explain in other languages then let us know by adding a comment on our site here or by using our forum. You can also send us an email at and look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch).

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Dutch and we’d love to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to Languagecaster’. It would be great to hear lots of different voices, especially with the World Cup coming up. In addition to this voice in Dutch we have also had Twi from one of our listeners, Elvis from Ghana on today’s podcast. Thanks a lot Elvis. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site – just click on the links in the transcript. We think it’s a great resource for those learning and teaching the language let us know how you’re using them in your classes.

2022 World Cup Predictions Competition

2022 World CupNow we are less than 40 days away from the start of the 2022 World Cup and here at Languagecaster we’ve launched our Predictions competition where you can guess the scores of all the matches from the Qatar tournament. It’s very easy to play – simply register (for free), choose your results and click on the save button here at Languagecaster’s website. You can of course change your scores right up to kick off time. And we hope to announce some prizes over the next couple of weeks, which will make it even more interesting.


OK, that’s it for this very short football-language podcast in which we looked at some of the words that described the Irish winner in the 2023 World Cup play-off between Ireland and Scotland. We looked at the following: cushioned header; threaded a pass and sliding a lovely finish.

We’ll be back with some more language about the beautiful game very soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and to join in the football language conversation on our forums. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll talk to you again soon. Bye bye!

Related Vocabulary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at

Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

2023 Women's World Cup