Beat the keeper

Games can be won and lost when a player makes or misses a chance from a breakaway 1v1 with the goalkeeper.

Set up

Using half of your pitch, set up a 20×20-yard grid with one edge on top of the penalty area. We’ve used 10 players. You need balls, bibs, cones and a goal.

How to play it

Play 4v4 plus one neutral player and a goalkeeper. The neutral player works for the team with the ball and can go 1v1 with the keeper. Players try to keep possession and after five passes by one team, a player may enter the penalty area (but the ball must enter first, either by dribble or pass). An opponent can enter the penalty area after the attacking player to provide a challenge.
To progress it, add gates and if four consecutive passes are made through the gates by one team, a player can enter the penalty area with the ball. To vary the angle of attack, you can progress the session further by moving the 20×20 grid across the pitch.


This is a great session for possession, passing, receiving and breakaway 1v1s. It needs good skills to beat the keeper.

    1. The game starts with the team in possession trying to make five consecutive passes
    2. One player from the team that has made five passes can then go 1v1 with the keeper to try to score

    3. To progress the session, add four gates in the square. The team in possession must pass or dribble through four consecutive gates to get into the penalty area
    4. In both games the defending team cannot enter the penalty area until the attacker goes in

    5. To progress the session further, the square is moved to one side of the penalty box so the angle of attack is changed
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