This post explains the football term ‘Return leg’. 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.

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Football Language: Return leg

Sometimes matches are decided over two games, or legs, with a team playing first at home and then away in the second game. So, we can see these kinds of games in the knock-out stages of the World Cup and the Champions League and of course in play-offs to reach these tournaments. Each match is called a ‘leg‘ so there is a home leg and an away leg which is sometimes known as the ‘return leg‘. It was often thought that having home advantage in the return leg was a good thing as the home fans could help the home team raise their game. However, this is not always the case as the result in the first leg may have been a one-sided one, such as when the Croatian side recently defeated Greece 4-1 in the first leg of their World Cup play-off meaning the return leg was pretty much finshed before it started.

Example: Italy will need to up their game in the return leg of their World Cup play-off match against Sweden on Monday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Example: The two intercontinental play-offs are finely in the balance after two scoreless draws means that in the return leg it’s all to play for.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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Football GlossaryEpisode 6