force a save (football)

Almighty Egg

Senior Member
English (British)
Hello,
I'm not a football (soccer) fan, but I've seen this expression in a match writeup and have no idea what it means.
I thought it was the goalkeeper's job to save, how can he be forced into it?

Can anyone enlighten me?

Cheers.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    If you give us the context - i.e. where you found it and what was written before that sentence/phrase, then I'm sure someone will be able to give you an answer.
     

    DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Well, he could have just stood there and watched the ball go in the net, I suppose?
    The Shorter OED offers "bring about by effort". If a shot hit the goalkeeper on the head and then bounced over the bar, he would still have saved it, so I would say that some degree of exertion is required for the save to be "forced".
    It's really just a sportswriter's cliché to provide a slight variant on simply saying "The goalkeeper stopped the ball from going into the net."
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Ideally, the defensive players keep the ball well away from their team's goal, so the goalkeeper has little to do. If it gets past all the defensive players and nobody but the goalie can stop it from going into the net, he is forced to save it (or let the other team score). The other team, by getting that close to scoring, forced a save.
     

    Almighty Egg

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    If you give us the context - i.e. where you found it and what was written before that sentence/phrase, then I'm sure someone will be able to give you an answer.
    Unfortunately, I read it in a newspaper I borrowed and I can't remember the exact context, but a quick Google search gleans some examples:

    Jebb stepping up to force a save from Richard Harvey in the Port goal but the keeper was unable to hold it and Ian Pattinson was on hand to fire home from close range, 1-1.

    Rangers loanee John Fleck was next to set his sights on goal, but he too failed to force a save from Lewis Price as his shot flashed just over the bar.

    he was starved of service throughout and only threatened on one occasion, when he did well to force a save from Stephen Henderson with a header

    OK, so if I understand correctly, it's when the goalie is actually forced into action by the close proximity of the ball to the goal, due to the failure of the defence, and made to attempt a save, actively and with skill, as opposed to just standing there and hoping the ball goes wide or bounces off him.

    Thanks to all!
     

    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Forcing a save in football means simply that a player is on target, (and if it wasn't for the 'keeper would have scored).
     
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