Football Language: (to) Pounce

This short football language post talks about the verb ‘to pounce‘, which is often heard in relation to scoring. If you have questions or comments, email us at: pounce
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Language: (to) Pounce

The verb ‘to pounce’ describes the action of a cat attacking its prey – think a tiger jumping on a deer. The movement is quick and doesn’t allow the deer to react. In football if a striker pounces on the ball, he or she reacts quickly to a loose ball in the area and shoots, usually scoring. The verb usually collocates with ‘on’, and also ‘error’ and ‘ball’ – so pounced on an error.

Here are some examples.

Example (BBC): Swansea were back on level terms when Bony pounced on Rangel’s delightful 33rd minute cross.

Example (BBC): The hosts took a half-time lead when Samuel Eto’o pounced from close range.

Example (BBC): Gouffran was at his sharpest when he pounced after Hooiveld’s error.

The action ‘to pounce‘ is a trademark of a poacher. Check out our description of poacher and more phrases by coming along to and accessing our football glossary.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here If you have any suggestions, contact us at

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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