Down but not out

Get your players to contest their own Club World Cup – one team is winning but the other team has a numerical advantage. Which team will be crowned world champions? When a team is winning in a cup tie, they often don’t know what to do in the final 10 minutes. This game is all about dealing with overloads and making decisions to win the game.

Set up

Set up an area 35×25 yards split into three zones, with the outer zones 10 yards and the inner zone 15 yards. We’ve used 15 players in this session. You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals.

How to play it

Split your squad into 7v6 plus two goalkeepers. One team plays 2-3-2, the other plays 1-4-1 and both teams are locked into their zones. The team playing 1-4-1 is winning 2-0 and must try to keep the ball in midfield where they outnumber the opposition. The other team may be down, but they have more players and outnumber the opposition in the outer zones. Who will win?


Tactics are huge in this game but also players will have to try to shield the ball, pass to keep possession, or play quickly through the thirds to score quickly and pull the game back.

    1. The ball starts with the team who are losing 2-0 but have more players
    2. The lone attacker must try to stop the two defenders playing long through midfield by closing them down

    3. The losing team are outnumbered in midfield, so they must try to find a way past the four midfielders
    4. Here the losing team pulls a goal back by using the overload in the final third to score a goal

    5. The winning team have an overload in the middle zone and try to keep the ball away from their opponents to stay ahead in the game
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