In this football language post for learners of English we look at the football expression ‘scruffy shot‘ which is used to describe a shot on goal. You can also read the transcript for this post 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Language: Scruffy finish
Spurs striker Harry Kane netted a brace in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over newly-promoted side Nottingham Forest yesterday. Scruffy suggests that something is not so clean – it is rather messy – and so a scruffy strike is almost like a mishit shot; not a perfect shot at all. The striker felt he did not hit it cleanly but instead that it was a scruffy finish which means he did not get the connection on the ball that he wanted. This kind of strike on goal can still be effective as it can wrong foot the keeper as they are expecting the shot to go to a different part of the goal. This adjective can also describe a win – a scruffy win would be when one team won the game without really playing very well.
- Example: Chelsea grind out scruffy win at Everton despite lacking a centre-forward (Telegraph.co.uk, August 6 2022)
- Example: A ‘scruffy’ finish and a double deflection (TottenhamHotspur.com, May 2019)
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