Welcome to the eFootball Goal Keeping Tutorial.
Goal keepers are your last line of defence and first line of attack. In this tutorial, we will look at how to keep clean sheets, as well as start attacks on the back.
- Key Goal Keeping Abilities
- Goal Keeping in Open Play
- Goal Keeping during Set Pieces
- Launching Attacks
- Goal Keeper Play Styles
1. Key Goal Keeping Abilities
A good goal keeper has high ratings in the following abilities.
GK Awareness – How quickly the player can respond to the ball when playing in goal
GK Catching – Ability to catch the ball from shots and crosses
GK Parrying – Ability to block shots in the direction of a safe area
GK Reflexes – Ability to react to shots, crosses, and signs of danger
GK Reach – The area around the goal keeper that he can successfully cover
Goal keepers with the following skill cards will add something unique to your game.
GK Low Punt – Drop kicks have a lower arc, allowing it to travel faster to your target
GK High Punt – Drop kicks have a high arc where the ball will rise up high into the air before landing on your target
GK Long Throw – Throws will cover a long distance, perfect for launching a counter attack
GK Penalty Saver – Goal keeper has fast reflexes and high reach, increasing the likelihood of saving a penalty kick
2. Goal Keeping in Open Play
Most of the time, goal keeping is left to the AI. We do not interfere with his positioning and movement. However, online opponents are experienced in beating AI-controlled goal keepers. To prevent that, you will have to control the goal keeper manually.
2.1 Keeper Rush
When you are facing a 1-on-1 situation, leaving your goal keeper at the goal line makes it very easy for your opponent to score, as he has a wide angle to aim for. To decrease his chance, hold Triangle (PS) / Y (XBOX) for your goal keeper to rush out of his line and challenge for the ball. If the ball is in the penalty box, he will attempt to go down on the ground and make a save. If the ball is outside of the penalty box, he will attempt a sliding tackle. Once he gets the ball, he will automatically clear the ball out, or send it forward.
Sometimes, the opponent may send a hopeful ball forward for the striker to chase down. If the striker is still some distance away from the ball, send your goal keeper out and attempt to reach the ball before the striker. Depending on the position of the ball, he will grab it with his hands, or clear it forward.
Activating the keeper rush is not a sure way of getting the ball, as experienced opponents may play the lob shot, round your keeper, or square it to an opponent. This is a risk you will have to take in such 1-on-1 situations. When your goal keeper has rushed out, keep the button held down till he has made the save or cleared the ball.
2.2 Manual Keeper Control
The keeper rush button simply makes the goal keeper run out in a straight line. To gain more control over your goal keeper, hold L1 (PS) / LB ( XBOX) and press down the Right Analog Stick button. Immediately, the cursor will be switched to your goal keeper. Move him around with your left analog stick to challenge for the ball, or to reposition him.
Opponents who are used to facing AI-controlled goal keeper will tend to aim for the unguarded side of the net, usually the far post. With your manually controlled goal keeper, you can cover the far post. Most opponents would not anticipate this and continue to aim for the far post, thereby missing a chance to score.
Alternate between manual keeper control and AI keeper control to keep your defensive game unpredictable.
3. Goal Keeping Skills from Set Pieces
During free kicks, your goal keeper is automatically placed at the side of the goal not covered by the wall. Experienced players can easily score by aiming for the unguarded part of the net. To prevent that, move your goal keeper slightly towards that side of the net by manually controlling the goal keeper. Once your opponent has taken the shot, switch the cursor back to an outfield player for the AI to activate the save.
As mentioned in the eFootball Free Kick tutorial, defending against free kick is a mind game. You have to guess your opponents’ action and choose which side of the goal to cover.
For corner kicks, we are unable to adjust the position of the goal keeper. There is no real need to, as the main defending work is done by our defenders. Check out the eFootball Corner Kick tutorial for more tips.
4. Launching Attacks Effectively From The Goal Keeper
As mentioned at the start of this tutorial, your goal keeper is the first line of attack. Using him well allows you to restart play quickly and launch counter attacks.
4.1 Ball in Hand
4.1.1 Drop Kicks / Throws
After your goal keeper has made a save, the ball will be in his hands. You can now restart the attack by playing a throw with the X (PS) / A (XBOX) button, or kicking it upfield with the Circle (PS) / B (XBOX) button. There is a power gauge involved, allowing you to determine the distance of your throw and kick.
If you are playing a defensive, or a long ball game, you should ideally hold on to the ball until your players have regained their positions, before sending a long drop kick forward. Ideally, aim for your center forward, or your tallest attacker, as he has the highest chance of winning the header. Alternatively, look for an unmarked attackers, usually at the flanks.
If you are playing a counter attacking game, attempt to send the ball forward immediately after you made the save, capitalising on the possibility that your opponents have not regain their positions. What I like to do is pass it short to my side backs, for them to launch the counter attack. If your goal keeper has the GK Long Throw skill, you can attempt to send a long throw to your wingers as well.
Avoid sending short throws or low-powered drop kicks down the middle. Most of your opponent are still in your half, and doing will may allow them to easily regain possession and launch another attack on you. As much as possible, restart attacks via the flanks.
4.1.2 Fake Throws / Fake Kicks
You can fake a throw or a drop kick by pressing X (PS) / A (XBOX) while charging up the power bar. This won’t fake the AI opponent, but serves as a good way to cancel out a throw / kick if you have pressed the wrong button. It is also a fun way to tease your opponent.
4.2 Goal Kicks
During goal kicks, adjust the positions of your teammates by tapping L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) to alternate between sending your players forward to receive a long kick, or calling your defenders back for a short pass.
4.2.1 Long Goal Kick
Use the Left Analog Stick to adjust the height of your kick, and the Right Analog Stick to determine the direction. Similar to drop kicks, aim for tall attackers, or unmarked teammates. Use the radar to spot teammates without any opponents close to them. As mentioned above, wingers are usually unmarked, making them perfect targets.
4.2.2 Short Pass
Play a short pass by pressing X (PS) / A (XBOX). This is useful if you prefer to gradually build up attacks from defence. Before sending a short pass, use the right analog stick to determine the direction, and ensure that there are no opponents near your intended target. If you are not careful, you may pass the ball directly to your opponent and allow them to score an easy goal.
Alternate between long goal kicks and short passes to keep your opponent guessing. What I like to do is to send long goal kicks even when I have used the L1 / LB button to call my defenders back, and vice versa. This ensures there is unpredictability in my game play.
5. Goal Keeper Play Styles
Play styles influencer your goal keepers’ positioning and runs in the game.
5.1 Offensive Goal Keeper
A keeper playing a sweeper type role who often comes out to cover the area behind the defence
This works great in theory but is risk in competitive online modes. Experienced players will see that your goal keeper is out of position and attempt an outrageous chip from far out. These goal keepers are fun to use in casual games, but take note of their tendency to move forward in competitive must-win games.
5.2 Defensive Goal Keeper
A solid keeper who prefers to stay around the goal line.
This goal keeper will reliably stay around the goal line. The disadvantage is that he is less likely to charge forward to challenge for the ball on his own, but you can overcome that by holding Triangle (PS) / Y (XBOX) or playing a deeper defensive line.
Goal keepers are often left to the AI. To be competitive in high divisions, proficient manual use of the goal keepers will help you earn valuable points.
All images credit: Konami