This short football language post talks about the verb ‘to pounce‘, which is often heard in relation to scoring. 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

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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 more 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.



Football Language Glossary

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.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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Football GlossaryEpisode 838