Football Guide

Football Glossary, Letter O

Football terms alphabetical index


To get in the way of an attacker without trying to win the ball; this act is considered a foul in football


Oceania Football Confederation, the football body that governs teams in the continent of Oceania; there are six continental bodies in the world

Off his line

An expression referring to a goalkeeper who is not in his proper position at the goal

Off the ball

(a) A term used to describe events or incidents that happen to players who are not in possession of the ball;
(b) Movement of offensive players that gets them in an excellent tactical or goal-scoring position

Offensive Player

Any player who attempts to score of goes up forward to help in attack

Official caution

Alternate term for the yellow card


The period before the start of a regular season

Offside trap

A defensive technique in soccer where defenders position themselves parallel to each other to place their opponents in an offside position


A player is in an offside position in soccer when there is only one defender between him and the opposing team’s goal

Olympic goal

A very difficult way of scoring a goal: happens when a player scores a goal directly from a corner kick without the ball being touched by anybody else

On offense

A term that refers to the team in possession of the ball

One-touch soccer

An offensive football tactic where players distribute the ball quickly after receiving it; the tiki-taka, a derivation of Total football, is an excellent example of one-touch soccer

One-touch pass

Happens when a player is able to play the ball with one touch after a pass;  some passes are badly placed or too strong that is why recipients will have to do two or more touches to control the ball


Playing the ball after only one touch, like passing or shooting it right after reception


An offensive technique in which a player passes the ball to teammate then receives it after going past defenders; also called wall pass, give-and-go

Onion bag

A fancy term for the goal or net


The opposite of offside, being in a position where there are at least two defenders before the opponent’s goal

Open space

The space between an attacker and the goal when there are no defenders on it

Out of bounds

Another term for out of play, when the whole of the ball goes beyond the touchline or goalline

Out of play

When the ball goes beyond the limits of the playing area

Out swinger

A cross that bends or curves away from the opponent’s goal

Outlet Pass

A pass by a goalkeeper or defender that starts their own team’s attack

Overhead Kick

Alternate term for bicycle kick, kick made by launching the body in midair, back to the goal, and striking the ball while in flight


To run ahead of a teammate who has the ball: this distracts the defense and also creates a good scoring opportunity

Overlapping fullback

A fullback who runs the whole length of the pitch

Over-the-ball tackle

A tackle made with the feet direct above the location of the ball: a dangerous tackle that often leads to injuries


Two 15-minute periods played if the score is tied after the regular 90-minute game; also called extra time

Own goal

A goal made by a player on his own team, usually through accidental deflection; the most infamous example of this was the own goal by Colombian defender Andres Escobar which cost him his life.