What Is Being Short-Handed In Soccer?

short handed

What Is Being Short-Handed?

In soccer, “short-handed” refers to a team playing with fewer players than the other team. This can happen due to a player being sent off (red card) or because of an injury. Playing short-handed puts the team at a disadvantage, as they have fewer players to cover the field and fewer options for passing and scoring.

How To Play Short-Handed

If a team plays short-handed, it must adjust its strategy accordingly. For example, they may focus on defense to prevent the other team from scoring. Or, they may choose to be more aggressive in their attacks in order to take advantage of the extra space on the field. Either way, playing short-handed always requires the team to be adaptable.

Despite the challenges, some teams are able to play very well when short-handed. This is often due to the team’s cohesion and understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If a team can play as one unit, they can be very dangerous even when outnumbered.

How To Score a Short-Handed Goal

Take advantage of any opportunities you have to shoot from long range: If you can get a shot off from outside the box, it will put more pressure on the defense and goalkeeper.

Make sure you are always looking for the open man: Even if you don’t have a clear shot, you can often find a teammate in a better position to score.

Be Patient: Don’t try to force anything. Sometimes the best opportunity will come if you wait for the defense to make a mistake.

When you get a chance to score, make sure you put your shot on target: The goalkeeper will often be out of position when a team is short-handed, so it’s important to take advantage of this and put your shot where it will count.


To summarize, being short-handed in soccer means one team has fewer players than the other. This can happen for several reasons, such as when a player gets injured or sent off (red card). When this happens, it usually results in an unfair advantage for the team with more players.