Welcome to the eFootball Free Kick tutorial.
Scoring from free kicks comes from practice, and being familiar with the style of your free kick takers. In this tutorial, we will cover both scoring and defending free kicks.
- Key Free Kick Abilities
- Basics of Taking a Free Kick
- Two Man Free Kicks
- Scoring from Direct Free Kicks
- Scoring from Indirect Free Kicks
- Defending Free Kicks
1. Key Free Kick Abilities
Every starting line up should preferably have 2 good free kick takers, each with a different dominant foot. These players should have high ratings in the following attributes.
Set Piece Taking – Accuracy in set pieces
Curl – Ability to curl the ball when passing and shooting.
Kicking Power – The strength of a player’s shots.
Players with the following skills are additional assets to your team.
Long Range Curler – Enables a player to hit curling shots with great accuracy from a distance.
Long Range Shooting – The player is accurate with long-range shots.
Knuckle Shot – Enables the player to hit knuckle shots.
Outside Curler – Enables the player to shoot and pass using the outside of the boot even at long distances.
Select players with the above attributes and skills to take your free kicks.
2. Basics of Taking a Free Kick
Let us talk about the basics of taking a good free kick.
2.1 Choose a good free kick taker
Before taking a free kick, press the ‘Select’ button on your controller to choose the player with the highest rating. Note that this is the rating for taking a free kick, and should not be confused with the player’s overall rating. Although players with low free kick ratings may still score, we will want to increase our chances by choosing the best taker.
Ratings for long range and short range free kicks differ as well. Before every free kick, press ‘Select’ to choose the player with the highest rating.
2.2 Choosing Direction
Use the Left Analog Stick to adjust your aim.
2.3 Direction of Curl
Charge up your shot and use the left analog stick to adjust the direction of curl. Right footed players should generally curl left, vice versa for left footed players. For players with the skill ‘Outside Curler’, they will have the ability to apply curl in both direction, regardless of their preferred foot. The amount of curl possible varies from player to player. Hold the Left Analog Stick in the desired direction until the kick is taken. If the goal keeper is nearer to the left post, I will usually aim towards the right post, and vice versa.
The amount of curl differs by players, based on the rating of the ‘Curl’ attribute. Take a few shots in training to get a sense of the amount of curl.
Push the left analog stick up or down to adjust the flight of the ball. Pushing the stick down will lead to a slower, more accurate shot. Pushing the stick up leads to a top spin, more powerful shot.
Combine both Left/Right with Up/Down to take a shot with your desire curl direction and spin.
2.4 Taking the Shot
Fill the gauge slightly less than half for near free kicks (less than 25m) from goal. Increase the power according for free kicks further away.
3. Two Man Free Kick
3.1 Enable Second Taker
We can add a second free kick taker during a free kick. Press L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) + Up or Down on the D Pad and a second free kick taker will line up beside you. The Up or Down input will determine the side where the second free kick taker will stand. If we want the second free kick taker to take the shot, hold L2 (PS) / LT (XBOX) and take the free kick as we normally would.
Go to your Game Plan to select both of your free kick takers.
I will usually choose a Right footed player as the second taker, when my first taker is Left footed. The second taker will be placed on the left side of the ball, which enables him to take the free kick with his stronger foot. As the direction of curl for the two players will be different, the opponent will not know what to expect.
3.2 Lay Off
The second free kick taker can also be used to lay the ball off for the first taker to take a shot on goal. To do so, hold L1+L2 (PS) / LB+LT (XBOX) and charge up the pass button. The second taker will lay off the ball, and we can control the first taker to either take a first time shot, make a pass, or bring the ball forward. This is useful when we are near the box and the team lacks a good free kick taker. For the first free kick taker to lay off the shot, hold L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) and charge up the Pass button.
3.3 Run Over Ball
Fake the wall and the goal keeper by getting one of your free kick takers to fake a shot.
To fake a shot with the first taker, charge up your shot with Square (PS) / X (XBOX) and press X (PS) / A (XBOX), similar to how you would fake a shot when dribbling.
To fake a shot with the second taker, hold L2 (PS) / LT (XBOX), charge up your shot with Square (PS) / X (XBOX) and press X (PS) / A (XBOX).
In both cases, the free kick taker will run over the ball. Your opponent will likely anticipate a shot and make a move. Get your second taker to take the free kick immediately.
4. Scoring from Direct Free Kicks
Depending on the location of the ball, different free kick techniques are required. The location of the ball will be broken down into four areas – Just Outside the Box, Less than 25m, Between 25m and 35m, and More than 25m.
The recommended level of power mentioned below serve as a rough guide. Here are some factors that affect the amount of power required.
- Free Kick Taker’s Abilities – Players with high ratings in ‘Set Piece Taking’ and ‘Kicking Power’ will require less powers than others to achieve the same result.
- Side Free Kicks & Central Free Kicks – Free kicks at the side requires more power as compared to free kicks at the center, as the ball travels over a longer distance.
- Distance from Goal – For obvious reasons, the nearer you are to goal, the less power you need.
- Height of Shot – The flight of the ball depends on your power. Apply less power and push the left analog tick down, and it will float gently, but slowly, over the wall. Charge up more power and push the left analog stick up, and it will travel faster towards goal, but amount of curl will be less.
And with that, let us take a look at the different strategies for different locations.
4.1 Just Outside the Box
Although we are very near to goal, it can be quite tricky to score since sufficient power is required to clear the wall, yet dip under the crossbar. There are 3 possible options to score in this position.
The first option – Traditional way
Aim for the side of goal which the goal keeper is not guarding, and fill the power gauge to around one quarter.
Second option – Use the 2 man freekick
Press L2 (PS) / LT (XBOX) + Up or Down on the directional pad to call the second taker. Use the second free kick taker to lay the ball off, and use your first taker to take a first time shot on goal. Unleashing a fierce shot from such a close distance gives you a high chance of scoring.
Third Option – Sneak the ball under the jumping wall
Aim in the direction of the wall, preferably towards the bottom corner of goal. Hold the Left Analog Stick Down. Use the Cross button instead of Shoot, and charge up the power to around 3/4. In the event that the wall jumps, the ball will sneak under the wall into the bottom corner of the goal. If you wish to use the shoot button, apply less power to prevent the ball from elevating.
For this option, we are assuming that players in the wall will make a jump. In the event that they don’t, quickly run towards the wall to win the ball back, as it usually gets trapped in the wall.
The best option here is the traditional way. The other two options can be attempted when you have a healthy lead and would like to add a bit of fun to the game.
4.2 Short Distance (25m)
If the free kick is in a central position, apply curl to your preferred side and fill the power gauge to slightly than half.
Free Kicks located towards the side of goal may require a little more power, as the ball travels a longer distance as compared to a free kick from a central position.
4.3 Medium Distance (25m to 35m)
Fill the power gauge to slightly more than half. You may not want to apply too much curl as it will slow your shot down. Choose players with high ratings in ‘Kicking Power’ for such free kicks.
4.4 Long Distance (More than 35m)
I would say it is pretty hard to score with a conventional free kick from such a long distance. If we wish to go for a shot, try a knuckleshot freekick. A knuckleshot is a type of shot that has a unpredictable flight path. It is packed with power and is hard for the goal keeper to catch.
Fill the power gauge to around 3/4 or 7/8, release the left analog stick, and tap shoot again when the player swings his leg back to the highest point. Use a player who has the knuckle shot skill. It is hard for the goal keeper to catch the ball cleanly from a knuckle shot free kick. He will most likely be only able to block the shot, and your teammates in the box can quickly tap the rebound into the empty net.
5. Scoring from Indirect Free Kicks
5.1 Traditional Indirect Free Kicks
During indirect free kicks, most of our teammates will be waiting at the edge of the box. One of them will be standing just beside the free kick taker to provide a short pass option. Look for an unmarked teammate to send the ball too. I also recommend aiming for your tallest teammate, which is usually your center forward, or your center back. You can use the tall teammate to head towards goal, make a header pass, or simply chest down the ball and hold off his marker, before deciding your next move. Off the ball controls using the Right Analog Stick can also be used for indirect free kicks.
5.2 Quick Free Kicks
Indirect free kicks can be taken quickly by pressing the pass button. This is useful when defenders have not regrouped, and one of our teammates is in a good position to continue the attack.
5.3 Set Piece Instructions
Use the d-pad to activate set piece instructions. Choose from ‘Dash’, ‘Far Target’, ‘Dash and Hold’, and ‘Target Man’.
6. Defending Free Kicks
I must say it is not easy to defend a free kick, as the free kick taker has many shot options to choose from. If we face a brilliant free kick taker, there is nothing we can do to prevent a goal. However, not all our opponents know how to take a free kick properly, and we can stop them with the following techniques.
6.1 Repositioning of the Goal Keeper
Hold L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) and press the Right Analog Stick to change the cursor to the goal keeper, and control him manually if we find a part of the net unguarded. This will put him in a better position to make a save, and forces our opponent to try for the other side of goal which he may not be familiar with.
Note that when you face experienced players, they will simply aim for the other side of the net. This turns free kick situations into mind games. Do you actively control your goal keeper or leave him to the AI? Do you switch the cursor to him immediately, or when the opponent starts his run up? In higher divisions, this turns into guesswork. It is unpredictable, which makes the game fun.
6.2 Place a Defender at the Goal Line
We can control a defender and place him at the goal line to head the ball away. An additional body at the goal line helps to block goal bound shots. However, do note that the defender’s position will be reset if your opponent changes his free kick taker. In addition, a strong, accurate free kick may sneak past the defender and the goal keeper into goal. Still, this is a good technique to know about.
These techniques may work when we face an inexperienced players, but it is almost impossible to defend against a well-struck free kick. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and we can only try our best to avoid conceding a foul near the penalty box.
Free kicks are rather rare in a game, especially when you face a strong opponent. Practice with the techniques highlighted above to take advantage of any free kick opportunities that come your way.
All images credit: Konami