Teams cannot always play in an attacking, stylish or beautiful way – often they have to defend a lot and maybe win the game on a counter attack or even with a bit of luck and so sometimes we use the phrase ‘to win ugly’ when describing this kind of victory. In Euro 2016, Wales beat Northern Ireland thanks to an own goal after a dull encounter, while on the same day Portugal snatched a winner against Croatia in the last minute after almost 120 minutes of boring football with few chances. Both victories can be described as ‘winning ugly’.
- Example: Portugal have managed to reach the final after winning ugly.
- Example: Sometimes it’s not necessary to play well as teams can also play badly and win – winning ugly.