In soccer, when one team is dominating in attack, it's not uncommon to see that team have almost all of its players up forward, and the defending team all staying on their half. This is especially common when, say, a team is 1-0 down in the dying moments of a critical game and is desperately trying to get an equalizer. My question is, have all the players on the pitch, including the goalkeepers, ever been on the same half of the field at the same time. (Still include instances where some of the players have been sent off. Players swarming the referee to protest a decision, or penalty shootouts, do not count.) If there are such instances, when/where was it, how long did it last, and what was the context of the game?

  • This has happened multiple times at just the professional level alone. It's not relatively common, given the sheer number of games and the time spent with all players in one half, but it's not feasible to list them all either.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 6:38
  • It's actually pretty common at the end of a game when a team is down by just one goal. Free kicks, corner kicks, etc awarded to that team are then usually taken with all players in the box (except the one taking the shot).
    – dly
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 6:44
  • I very rarely watch football, but I've seen this happen in maybe half of all games that I've watched.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 9:01
  • @Chenmunka It is rare for a goalkeeper to go into the other half of the field, but where a team is desperate for an equaliser, or a critical goal, toward the end of the match, it sometimes happens that a goalkeeper will go up to theopponents' penalty area when a corner is about to be taken.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


The context would be a match where losing by two goals is no worse than losing by one goal. Knockout matches like the FA Cup, or league matches towards the end of the season where a win or a draw (or goal difference) is vital for survival/promotion.

The goalkeeper Jimmy Glass scoring for Carlisle to keep them in the league. I think I have correctly counted 22 players in the same half.

Peter Schmeichel came up for the first corner (equalizing goal) in the 1999 Champions League final as well. Losing 2-0 would have been no worse than losing 1-0 so the keeper and the team had nothing to lose.

I would go as far as to say that any time the keeper comes up for a corner you will have 22 players in the same half.

  • "I would go as far as to say that any time the keeper comes up for a corner you will have 22 players in the same half." – I don't think so. It is quite common for a smaller player to defend the back in case of a quick turnover. Often, that will happen near the middle of the field in the opponent's half, but sometimes, they stay further back. Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 6:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.