Football Language Quiz: Gap Fill 1990 World Cup – Netherlands v West Germany

Try this listening quiz which is based on a part of the 1990 World Cup podcast Netherlands vs West Germany.

As you listen to the audio, try to complete the blank spaces (the gaps). There are twelve phrases that need to be completed and all of them are verbs or parts of verbs. There is also a vocabulary list from some of the words used in this section of the report to help with comprehension.

You can try a similar listening quiz on the Seven Stages of Being a Football Manager here.

Football Language Quiz: Gap Fill 1990 World Cup – Netherlands v West Germany


  • got off to a flier: to start really well
  • thrashing: A heavy defeat
  • another layer of intrigue: This made the story even more interesting
  • a capacity crowd: The stadium was completely full
  • needle between the sides: Bad blood, needle means there was bad feeling/nastiness between the two teams
  • scythed down: To take down a player with a bad tackle (to cut down the player)
  • a melee ensued: A melee is when a group of people begin to fight, so this phrase means that the melee started (ensued). In football we sometimes use the phrase ‘handbags‘.
  • disgraceful behaviour: Really bad behaviour
  • to take the sting out of the game: To reduce the tension
  • broke the deadlock: Open the scoring, score the first goal
  • to double their lead: To score a second goal
  • to float (the ball): To pass the ball gently – in the air
  • a consolation:  A goal that does not affect the result
Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. Don’t forget that you can contact us here at languagecaster via our various social media platforms: Facebook’s Learning English Through Football, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Spread the word, ask a question on our forums, make a suggestion or simply drop us an email at

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