Attacking / Defending In Small Groups: 3v2 To Goal

This week’s activity works on elements of both attacking and defending; Individual as well as small group defending principles can be emphasized within a numbers-down situation. Attacking principles as well as scoring / finishing in a confined area are also addressed.


Squad of 18-20 players are split into 2 groups and positioned as shown. Goalkeepers are positioned in full-size goals.

Attacking and Defending In Small Groups: 3v2 To Goal |



Play starts with a pass from the end line Player (A) to wide Player (B) positioned between the flags; Player (B) must receive the ball with the first touch and drive inside the playing area – Player (A) immediately overlaps to enter the playing area; Player (C) also enters. Simultaneously two defenders from the opposite team now enter the pitch – this creates a 3v2 scenario. The attacking team must attempt to score as quickly as possible. The Defensive players can win possession and counter-attack the opposite goal.

After any shot, ball out of play the sequence is repeated from the opposite side of the pitch – alternate attacks from each team.

2 x 6-8 minutes

Coaching Points:

  • Attack:
    • Go at pace
    • Quality of finishing
    • Decision to penetrate or pass?
  • Defending:
    • Close opponents down
    • Cut off pass angles
    • Shot blocking
    • Communication with goalkeeper