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24th Jun 2018

Japan pull off greatest offside trap in history against Senegal

Offside traps are a risky business, but this one worked a charm

Wayne Farry

That’s how it’s done

Playing the offside trap can be a tricky business. You can be out of sync and leave one man hanging behind, or you can go too late leaving the entire opposition onside and free to tap the ball in.

When done right though, the offside trap is one of the purest things in football, and can ruin an attack in one fell swoop.

An example of such an offside trap came on Sunday during Japan’s 2-2 draw with Senegal, where the Samurai Blue sprinted in perfect unison away from the goal they were defending. As a precaution, two Japan defenders ran the other way, just in case the assistant referee decided not to give it or they somehow managed to balls it up.

Japan’s left-back, Yuto Nagatomo, collected the ball in the box, but the referee flagged for offside anyway. It’s a risky tactic, but when it works well, it’s foolproof.

Don’t be surprised to see some other teams copy Japan’s genius innovation throughout the rest of this tournament.