3v2 Soccer Drills: Brilliant 3v2 Scenario Drills

3v2 soccer drills

3v2 Soccer Drills: Improve Angles of Support and Decision Making Skills

It’s easy to get caught up in the usual soccer drill topics; passing, finishing and possession drills are what you’ll see at most training sessions.

There are however smaller focused drill topics you can add to your arsenal of drills to really get the most out of your players.

One of those topics is 3v2.

3v2 soccer drills are drills are mainly (but not always) used to help attackers make the most of player number advantage quickly by;

  • Focusing on the runs of attackers
  • The angle in which these attackers support the play
  • Decision making (Shooting vs Passing)
  • Positional and game awareness

Below I have listed various different 3v2 soccer drills that can adapted and progressed depending on the needs of your players. Take each session as you wish and feel free to play around with the setup.

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3v2 Drills: Key Coaching Points

There are a few coaching points to keep in mind when coaching 3v2 scenarios;

  • Attack quickly – penetrate and make decision quick to take advantage of the extra player
  • Use first touch appropriately; be aware of the space to attack
  • Use the right selection of pass: short vs long range passing
  • Effective and efficient decision making
  • Quick and effective transition from defense to attack and back to defense again if necessary

What Soccer Drill Software Am I Using?

Tactics Manager 3.0 logo

For a full detailed description of the soccer drill software I’ve used for these drills – click the link below…

3v2 Soccer Drills

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3v2 to 3v3 Balance Play

Balance Player 3v2 to 3v3

Drill Setup

Setup starts with 6 players in play – 3 on each team. To make the drill as realistic as possible use a keeper. On the opposite end of the pitch place two portable soccer goals.

Drill Details

To start this drill, the goalkeeper takes control by playing the ball out to one of the attackers (reds). The reds attack in a 3v2 advantage.

After a given amount of time (10 seconds / 3 passes etc) the 3rd defender on the outside comes into support the defending team in a 3v3 situation.

If the defending team win the ball they can use either goal on the opposite side to score in.


  • Variation #1: Changing the starting position of the additional defender

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Counter Attack

Counter Attack

Drill Setup

This is a great drills to encourage your team to counter attack and take advantage of the additional player. The play starts with 3 attackers (whites) against 2 defenders (Reds).

Drill Details

Once the ball becomes ‘dead’ either by whites scoring or missing the white player who takes the final shot becomes a lone defender and must now defend in a 2v1 sceario against the 2 red players.

When the play is finished by either a goal being scored or the ball becoming dead, the next group of players come in.

Attackers are not allowed to shoot until they have passed the half way


  • Variation #1: You can change the rules where one team must get a shot on target in 2v2 scenario and once the ball is dead the counter attack starts with an outside player creating a 3v2 overload.
  • Variation #2: You can also have your attackers or defenders come in from different angles by changing their starting positions

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Drop Back 3v2

Drop Back 3v2Drill Setup

Setup 4 small goals – two either side of the playing area. Split your group into 3 teams of 3.

Drill Details

To start the drill, the coach plays the ball in from the side into the middle 3 players.

Whatever team is defending, 1 player drops back so that a 3v2 scenario can play out.

If the attacking team score, the coach throws in another ball and they now attack the opposite end.

If the attacking team fails to score they rotate with one of the defending teams.

When I coach using this setup I usually split the drill timing into 2 parts; 1st part involves playing the drill out and stopping the play when I feel it’s relevant to coach some key points.

Second, I add a bit of competition by setting a target and having each team play off against each other to see which team can score the most consecutive goals without being replaced.


  • Variation #1: First progression could involve changing from a 3v2 attacking scenario to a 3v2 defending advantage. Remember however to always be clear as to which part of the scenario you are coaching; attackers or defenders?
  • Variation #2: You can also progress this into a 3v3 mini game
  • Variation #3: Finally, you can also remove 1 goal from each side, centralize the goal. When one team is defending instead of removing themselves from the drill, they drop back into goal to become the keeper

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Hold Up 3v2

Hold Up 3v2

Drill Setup

This drill is more suitable if you have a larger group of players to work with. Setup 2 smaller goals one side of the pitch with a bigger goal and keeper the opposite side. Split you group into 2 teams – attackers and defenders and replicate the same starting positions as per the diagram.

Drill Details

The drill starts with the Coach playing the ball into the central forward player.

This attacker must hold the ball up and wait for the two other attackers coming into play to support the attack. If the defenders win the ball the can score in either one of the smaller goal


  • Variation #1: You can look to change the starting positions. This will get your players used to defending or attacking from different angles. Think about use the corners, sides and even running back from an offside position. There are endless ways to change this drill around to replicate real game situations – Of course, you can change the situation to; 4v3, 2v1 and a whole host of other overload scenarios.

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Magic Player

Magic Player 3v2

Drill Setup

Again this is another great drill if you’re coaching a bigger group of players. Split your group into 3 teams in this example we have; Reds, Blues and Whites.

Place 2 teams either side of the pitch and place the last team in-between each team in the middle. The middle players are neutrals or ‘magic players’ and dictate the play.

Drill Details

The drill starts by 1 neutral playing the ball into another player on his team. Once the 2nd neutral player receives the ball they pick a team in which to pass the ball too.

Whatever team he chooses becomes the attacking team and forms a 3v2 situation using the neutral player as the 3rd player.


  • Variation #1: You can progress this drill to a 3v3 situation with the first neutral player taking the side of the opposite team as the 2nd neutral player.


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