Last week I posted the first part of the offensive corners analysis on Hansa Rostock and today I’m sharing part two of the offensive corners analysis. In this part I will look more closely at the offensive corners employed by Dundalk FC, playing in the League of Ireland. As also said in the previous article, I want to look at leagues that are really interesting but not as known with the bigger public as the top-5 leagues are. The League of Ireland is such a league in my opinion.
Dundalk FC are currently 9th in the top tier of Ireland after 5 games played and are waiting for their first win. In this analysis I will look more closely to their corner routine in attack through four examples that can be found below in video-format.
This analysis deals primarily with the fact of how Dundalk weaponed itself against dominant man-marking in the box and how their runs were constructed in the attacking corners. I found that the corners that were swinging in or out had no significance effect on the routine, therefore this is not included in the four examples I have looked at.
Dundalk vs Bohemians Dublin
In the video above you can Dundalk playing against Bohemians in an attacking corner against a team that does mostly man marking. The key in playing against these kind of defences is to get away from your direct marker, so you need to be creative in your runs – and so does your routine.
There is one player in the six-yard box standing between the keeper and defender to make sure to give them both a difficult time. There is also one player just outside the penalty area who seems to have two task: getting the cleared ball, but also trying to break a counter attack if there would be one.
The routine is focused on the five players who stand inside the penalty area and their runs. There are two runs that open the defence. The number 9 is going behind the defenders and going left towards the near post, while number 17 is going behind the defenders as well towards the far post. In doing so they are dragging defenders with them, opening up space in the middle.
The triangle in the middle is what remain with the two front players moving forward in order to attack the corner. Import here is that the back player stays on his position, which could confuse the defenders in what decision to make.
Dundalk vs Shamrock Rovers
In the game against Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk employed an attacking corner which was consisting of three couples or three duos. First of all you see the short pas option to the right side as well as a player just outside the penalty area tasked with the cleared ball and/or breaking the possible counter attack through the middle.
There are three duos, one in the middle of the penalty, one on the far post side, and one just on the edge of the box. They all have different runs, as you can see in the video. The two in the middle move forward, but they split – one goes to the near post and the other remains centrally but progresses. The duo on the far post splits up and both run in opposite directions of each other, dragging defenders out of the box and near the far post. The duo that makes a run from the edge of the penalty box moves to the far post.
Again the intention is to create runs in different directions to drag the compact defensive unit away from each other so that there opens more space in the area the ball is played into.
Dundalk vs Finn Harps FC
In the game against Finn Harps Dundalk sought to attacking in corners with the three duos again, but with slightly different roles in moving forward. As you can see in the video above, there was one player just outside the penalty area with another player behind him for the rest defence and to act on the cleared balls from the corner.
The duo in the middle – at the penalty spot – moves forward and towards the near post as soon as the ball is kicked from the side. The duo playing more to the right breaks up at the exact moment with the right player making a run towards the near post as well to join the other the two players, while number 5 doesn’t make a run and keeps on his position.
The duo who runs from the edge of the penalty area moves as a unit forward, but are not going to the near post. They are going into the space opened in the middle, because everyone is going to the near post. This duo moves forward in the hope that the ball will arrive deeper.
Dundalk vs Shamrock Rovers
In the previous routines, we saw that Dundalk used three separate units that made runs into the box and in different directions. As you can see in the video above, this is slightly different in this routine employed by Dundalk in another game against Shamrock Rovers. They move in two separate units in this case.
In the beginning, we see six players in the penalty area and one player for the short pass option standing next to the corner-taker. There is one player standing just outside the six-yard box, while five other players are standing just inside the penalty area. When the corner is taken they form one massive unit – which makes it difficult for Shamrock Rovers to handle.
When the ball is taken, the unit of six breaks and there are three entities formed from the six players. Three player go to the near post to attack the ball, two players are going to the far post and move more centrally when the ball lands at the near post, and one player remains centrally and goes a bit more back to the edge of the penalty area to anticipate any cleared ball.
After analysing Hansa Rostock, this was a completely different league and set-piece routine to look at, but very interesting as well, because it dealt with man-marking in the box. The art of luring and dragging defenders in opposite directions can be very useful when confronted with dominant man-marking defending with set-pieces.