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Stalemate – FootballLanguage: Euro 2020: Last 16 Day 1

This football language podcast looks back at the first day of the last 16 and the match between Italy and Austria. We focus on some of the football language connected with this game, including stalemate and break the deadlock. 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 (DB=Damon)

Stalemate – FootballLanguage: Euro 2020: Last 16 Day 1

DB: You’re listening to’s football language Euro 2020 podcast. Hiya everyone to languagecaster and our Euro 2020 football language podcasts. My name is Damon, one half of the languagecaster team. I’m based in Tokyo  and Damian, who is also busy podcasting is in London. Both Damian and I have been enjoying the Euro 2020 competition, and yesterday was another treat with two of the last 16 games.

Heartbreak for Wales as their dreams were dashed, finished, by Denmark, who ran out easy winners in the end 4-0. It is the other match, however, that I want to focus on: Italy, many peoples’ favourites, against Austria, the definite underdog in this game. It probably won’t be the last but it was the first game to go to extra time as the game was goalless after ninety minutes.

Let’s look at some of the language to describe the game.

Stinger: You are listening to (Italian).


DB: The Italian’s had kept clean sheets in all their matches so far, and in fact, nobody had scored against the Italians in an international for 11 games. So many expected Austria to be unable to break down the Italian defence. However, most pundits thought the Italians would be able to unlock the Austrian defence and score. But the ninety minutes ended in stalemate.

Stalemate describes a situation when neither team can score and the game is stuck at 0-0. The word is from the game of chess originally. Neither Austria nor Italy could break the stalemate, score, in ninety minutes. Even though there were no goals in regular time, this was actually a very exciting game as both teams did push forward. In fact Austria thought they had broken the stalemate with a looping header by Arnautovic, but the effort was chalked off, disallowed, for offside.

Break the Deadlock

DB: So the game was 0-0, it was deadlocked, meaning neither team could score against the other and the game was even. But the stalemate, the deadlock, was broken finally in the first half of extra time by Chiesa. This is how Australia described it: “Italy’s Federico Chiesa finally broke the deadlock with a well-taken goal in extra-time against Austria at Wembley.

Embed from Getty Images

It was indeed a well-taken, or skillful, goal. Let’s take a look at some of the language used to describe the Chiesa’s goal. This time from the minute-by-minute in the Guardian: “He chests down, takes a touch to see off Lainer, then whips a hard shot across Bachmann and into the bottom left! 

Whips a shot

DB: The shot is described as being whipped – he whips a hard shot across the goalkeeper. To whip is usually used for a cross from the flanks, the sides, of the pitch. A whipped cross is hit hard and has some curve on it. In Chiesa’s case, he was very close to the goal and he hit the ball hard and with curve, he whipped the ball across the goalkeeper and into the corner.

Other ways to describe a hard shot like this would be to drive a shot into the corner, to smash a shot, or to arrow a shot.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Danish).

Good Bye

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Danish. Right, that brings us to the end of this short football language podcast. We focused on describing  a tight game with no goals using words like a stalemate, a deadlock. Remember we usually use the verb ‘break‘ to describe one team scoring in this situation, so break the deadlock.  And we also took a quick look at how the goal that broke the stalemate was described. The shot was whipped into the corner, or bottom left of the net.

That’s it for this short podcast. Drop us a line anytime at And remember, you can read the transcript for the show by coming along to our website at Enjoy all the football. Ta-ra!

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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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  • What is the meaning of the words “attack” and “connect” in football?

    24 min: Shaw sends the ball towards the far post, where Stones tries to attackit. Under pressure from his marker he doesn’t connect cleanly and Germany clear.

    • If a player attacks the ball it means they run towards it to make a strong contact (connection). In this example, Stones ran towards the ball so he could get a strong connection in order to direct it with power towards the goal. Unfortunately he did not hit (or connect with) the ball well (cleanly) and hit the post.

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