Learning English Through Football Podcast Euro 2020 Semi Final 2: Fall Behind and Soft Penalty

In this football language podcast we look at the phrases ‘soft penalty‘ and ‘fall behind‘ which came from the 2020 European Championship semi-final match between England and Denmark. You can read a 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 admin@languagecaster.com.

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Learning English Through Football Podcast Euro 2020 Semi Final 2: Fall Behind and Soft Penalty

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Languagecaster.com team – I hope you are all doing well. Now as you know, we are posting a football expression from the Euro 2020 tournament every day. Damon looked at some of the words and phrases from the first of the Euro 2020 semi-finals between Spain and Italy yesterday and today I’m going to look at some of the language from the England versus Denmark last four game: fall behind and soft penalty.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Irish).

Fall Behind

they faced a test of their nerve when they fell behind to this excellent Danish side (BBC.co.uk July 7 2021)
We say that a team falls behind when they are losing to their opponents during the match and another way of saying this is to go behind. Both of these phrases use the word ‘behind‘ as this helps to explain that one side is losing to the other one – they are not in front. We can use this verb phrase in different ways: England fell behind or as in this example from the BBC they fell behind to this excellent Danish side, while we could also say that they – they fell behind to a wonder goal. So, fall behind or go behind means that a team have conceded a goal and are losing the game.

Soft penalty

The other big phrase that emerged from this semi-final was ‘soft penalty‘ – indeed it was our most popular search term this week on our site. England won a penalty in extra time when Raheem Sterling drove into the penalty area and then fell after contact with the Danish defender. Many fans did not think this was a penalty as there did not appear to be much contact and even though it was checked by VAR they still felt it was a soft penalty which means that the decision could have gone either way. Some other phrases associated with this expression include, ‘to go down easily‘ which suggests that a player may have exaggerated the fall in order that the referee awards the spot kick, while the opposite of this phrase would be a ‘stonewall penalty‘ which means there is no doubt that it was a penalty.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Italian).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com – that message was in Italian. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocab support which you can access by coming along to our site. OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrases ‘fall behind‘ and ‘soft penalty‘ from the 2020 Euro semi-final between England and Denmark – and we’ll be back with more soon. Don’t forget that you can also come and find lots of football language on our site here at languagecaster.com. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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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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Euro 2020Episode 731