Football (soccer) - goalkeeper tactics

In this video, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United scores a spectacular goal.

I’m wondering whether the goalkeeper should have tried to get to the ball and, say, punch it away before Mr. Rooney could have got his foot on it. Would that have been smart or foolish?

Nope, the ball was way too far away from the keeper for him to get there in time. Don’t forget that the ball also took a deflection before reaching Rooney, the keeper wasn’t expecting the ball to go where it did so he had no chance of ‘setting off early’ to get a good run at it. The keeper shouldn’t come for the ball unless he knows he is going to get there. So many times you see keepers come to collect or punch a cross and they end up stuck in no-mans land because they have misjudged it. In this case the keeper did the right thing, he started to move out when the cross was hit but retreated when it was deflected and it was clear he couldn’t get there in time.

I’m voting for foolish. Rooney looks like he’s at about the penalty spot, maybe a bit closer to goal, when the ball is served into the middle. The keeper’s about a yard off his line. At a minimum, the keeper’s going to have to move 9-10 m in less than 2 seconds, probably closer to 1. Also, Rooney’s teammate was about a few meters to the left and back if Rooney missed the bicycle. The keeper looked to be in a good position to handle a volley from the teammate. Come off the line at Rooney and you open up a lot of the goal for his teammate. Also, even considering these guys are pros, how many of them land bicycles that precisely, with that kind of velocity?

Again, these guys are pros, with pro reaction times, but watching the replay at full speed, it never occurred to me that the keeper should’ve charged off his line. I am a very minor fan though and would love to hear from more knowledgeable fans how they felt the keeper should have played it. Just a heck of a goal and thanks for the link.

Edit: Wow! Didn’t even see the initial deflection. Thanks, mittu. Thought the right mid just put a ton of English on the ball to cause that curve. Well, with the deflection, the keeper was doubly screwed.

Right, but the deflection came very early in the flight of the ball - it then traveled a substantial distance on a predictable path.
At around 1:18 of this video, on a similar play Peter Schmeichel comes out somewhat further to disrupt a pass.

Those plays really aren’t that similar. They’re both crosses, but that’s it.

Yeah, in Schmeichel’s case the ball came from a lot farther back and it was a lot slower. He could exactly see where it was going to end up and could easily reach it. In Rooney’s case the ball came from the edge of the 18 yard box and was (initially at least) hit with pace.

Not a chance of the keeper getting to that.
The ball was in flight for perhaps 2 seconds, maybe less. Even reacting immediately (which you couldn’t because you have to judge the flight of the ball) it would have been a full sprint to cover the 12-13 yards out to Wayne Rooney’s shooting position
That’s not including the time it takes to execute any blocking move.

In short, Correct decision from the keeper, bugger all anyone could have done about something as brilliant as that.

There’s nothing he could have done about that. Sometimes, or at that level most times, goals result from great shots. there aren’t that many cheap goals given up due to a goalkeeper error.

Had it been just a yard or two closer he would have gone for it, and rightly so. But that was just too far away.

Well, the second video is in slow motion. In real time, the two balls look to have been in the air about the same amount of time.

And the across-the-ground distance of the second seems marginally less than the first.

The first one travels a maximum of 24 yards I reckon, the second one a few yards more. But the flight is more important. The first has a flatter and faster trajectory and it is curving away from the keeper. Anyone who has ever played in goal will tell you that those are a nightmare to chase.
The second is lofted and flighted and doesn’t deviate from its flight path (you can see how the player does this on purpose). More of a 9-iron to the punched 5-iron of the Rooney cross.
It may only have given it a few extra tenths in the air but that, combined with the flight being easier to judge and Schmeichel perhaps starting a few yards further from his goal (which was his typical M.O.) means it was an easier one to get to.

Still great keeping from the great Dane though.

That would’ve been bad play by Hart if he came off his line to try deal with it. Infact the ball took a wicked deflection off the defender anyway, there’s no way that Hart could’ve reacted quick enough to have any chance of intercepting the cross.

Even in sitautions where the keepr does have a chance of inetrcepting the ball it is still highly questionable for the keeper to come off his line. It’s the job of the centre backs to clear crosses on the edge of the area and even if the keeper successfully intercepts the cross (but doesn’t hold on to the ball), there’s always a chance that the clearcne could fall to an attacker and the keeper would then be starnded.

The particualr play by Schmeichal you refer to, he clearly did have time to react and he could be confident of winning the ball. Schmecihal was an excellent of the ball and master at dealing with crosses and not to mention probably the best goalkeeper of all-time so you have to figure he knew what he was doing. But even in that video it’s still questionable as to whether in that situation it’s a good tactic for the keeper to try to intercept the cross notwithstanding that Schmeichal did so successfully.

The Schemichal one is up and under, so much more easier to predict that a deflected, curling cross. That is why Rooney’s goal is so good because he managed to make perfect contact with an overhead kick on such a difficult ball.

I played keeper when I was littler, and I concur that staying home was the right decision for the keeper here. Mostly a mistake by the fullback along with a great shot. It looked like the keeper maybe made a mistake by being caught off-balance moving to his right, so he couldn’t get back to his left for an attempt on the ball, but with where the ball was, I don’t think the keeper was getting to it anyway even if he was perfectly balanced.

I don’t think Hart had a choice here anyway, from the start he had he may’ve only got a couple of steps forward absolute maximum. The shot did catch him flat-footed, but being caught flat-footed by something like that I don’t think can really be classed as a mistake, there’s no way he could’ve anticpated what Rooney was goign to do.