Two on One
Mastering the two on one offensive is not all that difficult, but many people still manage to mess these up. They are basically a gift of a goal if you know what to do.
When you are dribbling down the field against one final defender with a teammate just in line with you, you have only one objective: eliminate the impact of this last defender. This last guy can be problematic because if your opponent is good, he will first block your passing lane but will not commit to that side so much as to leave you open to dribble. What you need to do is to force him to commit to stealing the ball from you and then go the opposite direction.
When you are in this situation you can, for example, begin to dribble around the defender to the right. When the defender goes in for the tackle, you can pass behind him (forward) and play your second man in through. Alternative, you could go for one of the more disliked options in the game, you could dribble ahead of the defender and pass across the line for an almost guaranteed goal. The problem here is that there is no guarantee you can get that far ahead of the defender for a long time, but if it is an option it is surely your best one.
Another option you can try is to go right, slightly. When the defender begins to commit, cut backwards but a bit to the left, whether it be by simply dribbling or with a fake shot. Either way works, you can even get fancier with some kind of skill move. Your defender will be struggling to compensate with your change of direction, and you’re not going completely backwards, meaning you are still advancing the attack, especially when you consider what your next move is -- a pass to your now wildly open teammate. Because the defender committed to your first move, if you place a nice through-ball in to your strike partner, he should have plenty of time on the breakaway. On a related note, the end of this “Strategy” section focuses on finishing on the breakaway here.
A third option you can consider in this situation is to simply play the ball early. Don’t let the defender close down that space between you and the second open man. Work to see the passing lane open up as soon as it does. This isn’t always possible, but always keep an eye open out for it so you can turn these kind of chances into scoring opportunities rather than chances as long as you get past one final obstacle.
Finally, you can watch for the overcommital of the defender in blocking your passing lane. This happens quite often. As soon as you see that defender getting close to your side to rule out the pass, take a big touch forward with the right analog stick and blow past him. At this point, you can do practically whatever you want, you’re on a simple breakaway and an even easier scoring opportunity.
One vs. Defense
When you’ve advanced the ball far up the pitch to a final striker before your team is in line with you, you’re in quite a difficult situation. There are, however, a number of things you can do here.
First of all, you can obviously pass back and rework your attack. However, you might not always want to do that. First of all, just because you only have one man against a defense does not mean you’d want to throw away your advanced position up the field -- if you have a fast striker you still can get away and usually if you’re all alone against the defense, the defense is just playing a high line. So, if you can get past them, you’re pretty much free for a breakaway.
Look for a hole in the defense to dribble through. Usually going through the two center-backs is your best option, as they are typically slower than the full-backs. The best case scenario is if you’re approaching this back line with a lot of speed. They will usually be standing still or moving slowly, so if you approach them with space, it might not take more than a big touch (with right stick) once you get close to the opening to blow past them for the breakaway.
This isn’t always the case though. Sometimes you will need to rely on something a little more creative to get around these defenders, and skill moves present a great option. If you can get past one, the other will be scrambling to make up for his defending partner’s error, and then is the time to accelerate away. Theoretically, you only really have to beat one player here, if you know what you’re doing.
Another option is a lot less effective and requires a bit more experience to get right consistently. In this position you might not be all alone, but it still wouldn’t be a good idea to move backward due to your advantageous position. If you know a second striker or wing player will be sprinting forward, and you are playing a big center-forward-type player, then you can simply slow down or even stop and shield the ball (left trigger) while you wait for your passing target to get in-line with the defensive line. The focus will be on you as you were the first, and only, player to approach the back line, so you might have a really wide open passing lane to play him through. Again, he’ll be approaching with a lot of speed so he can blow past defenders as well.
These methods can definitely work, but the problem is that this is usually a really awkward situation. The bottom line is that you are outnumbered in this situation, so a lot does come down to either luck or considerable disparities in player skill levels. However, if you consider these methods you could definitely take advantage of such a situation.
Wingers can create some of the most promising offensive chances you’ll find in FIFA 14. Due to the increased power of headers in FIFA 14, a strong dribble down the outside with a winger that ends with a decent cross can become one of the most effective tricks in your arsenal if you remember a few key concepts.
Not all teams have particularly fast wingers -- at least not the kind of blazing speed we’ve come to expect from today’s wingers such as Antonio Valencia or Gareth Bale. However, wingers can still be extremely effective because they are especially agile dribblers, and a lot of teams succeed with this kind of winger. You need to recognize what kind of winger you have on each wing.
For fast wingers, the 1-2 is very effective. All this requires is to pass with your winger while holding down the right bumber (RB) on Xbox or R1 on Playstation. This will cause him to sprint forward and make up as much ground ahead of him as possible. What you’re planning on doing here is usually pretty clear to your opponent, but the beauty of good wingers is that they are usually so fast that even an aware full-back might not be fast enough to get to the through ball before your winger if he is making a run down the side. If you time your pass well enough (just as winger is crossing defensive line) you will find a lot of space down field to dribble into. If you’ve a lot of space, like on a good counter or something, you may even be able to dribble into the middle and create your own breakaway from the outside. However, this is unlikely and you are better off just hoping for an opportunity to cross as close to the by-line as possible.
Another way to utilize wing play is by using skill moves or just natural dribbling prowess to get around players on the outside. As a winger, you really don’t have too many people to dribble past in order to free up a ton of space in front of you. In most scenarios, you only really have to pass the opposing full-back before you can sprint down towards the goal-line. This is a perfect place to use your skill-moves to fake one way and go the other (outside is usually better) to free up this dribbling space. This is also applicable for those wingers referred to earlier -- those who are not exceptionally fast but make that up in their supreme dribbling skills.
Another thing to consider is the preferred foot of your winger. As you dribble down the wing, a lot of chances will open up, but the two main ones require you to choose between a cross or a shot. A cross is definitely effective, but it doesn’t hurt to switch things up and go for a cut-inside to shoot. In fact, with the addition of Pure Shot and Real Ball Physics (basically, shots can be more powerful and accurate than in previous versions of FIFA) shots after cutting inside can be very effective. Not to mention, wingers do this a lot in real-life, so EA has tailored their stats to make them good at this kind of thing. As you near the box, you can act like you are just going to continue to dribble outside and eventually cross, but suddenly cut inside with either a skill move, a fake shot, or a regular dribble. From here, you will have a lot of space to dribble in further, line up for a shot, or both.
Wingers can be both effective at creating chances but also making them for themselves, if you know what you are doing. Deciding between crossing, passing it off, or cutting inside for a shot can present a crucial and difficult choice, but in that decision lies the creation of goals. So, test out what works for you, and what works for the wingers you’re playing with to help you make these decisions.
When you find yourself at a very advanced attacking position down the field, there are a number of ways to create scoring opportunities.
When I say ‘advanced position’, I mean that you possess the ball in the final third near the penalty box, with many teammates with you as well. While this does present a very potent attacking opportunity, you should understand that if you are to lose the ball here, your opponent can easily form a counter attack as the majority of your players will be pretty far up the field -- much farther than usual. Obviously you should try to take advantage of this opportunity, but understand that if you are unsuccessful you need to be very conscientious of your defending.
The first option here is to get some kind of cross in. The advantage of crossing in at this point is that you will have all kinds of players in the box. Hopefully, your crossing target will head it in on the first chance, but it’s usually no problem if he does not. The ball will bounce around the area until a defender clears or you get your second, third, or fourth chances extremely close to the goal! Generally, since there are so many crossing targets, you don’t really need to get to a great position for the cross, just get the ball outside to a winger to cross in.
One thing to remember for this kind of cross, don’t go for a driven (double-tap crossing button) or a low (triple-tap) cross because your goal is to get the ball into the center of the penalty box. There probably won’t be much opportunity at the front post anyway, you’ll just drive the ball into a defender to clear out quickly, completely neutralizing the advantage of this position.
Another thing to go for here is to just create a shot for yourself. Check out the ‘Creating Shots and Making them Count’ section for more information on how to free up space for your shot. However, due to your advanced position down the field, there will be a lot of congestion in the box to deal with. So, you need to clear up space for you to execute your shot, but you also need to be mindful of lanes that may open up through this group of defenders (and your own players) through which you can shoot.
Although congestion in the box can be problematic when you are trying to shoot, it can definitely work to your advantage when looking for passing lanes. We’ve already established that you will have a lot of numbers ready to assist you in your offensive in the box here, so why not look to them as passing targets? With so many players swarming the box from both teams, defenders cannot possibly track every player. As you approach the box, you need to just look for players making a run towards the goal. There will be passing lanes opening up for you to simply slot a through ball in to them. It sounds weird, but don’t even worry about the player you’re controlling with the ball as you approach the box. Watch him in the corner of your eye, but the focus of your attention should be on scanning the box constantly for these runs and open lanes to pass into.
It is not always all that effective to try to dribble here, because there are just so many different defenders ready to steal the ball from you. If you are particularly good at skill moves and see a very concrete opportunity, maybe it is worth trying. Otherwise, I’d recommend just opting for a cross, shot, or looking for passing lanes.