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As it was said more than once, FIFA 08 is a great and very realistic football simulator, with its AI posing quite a few challenges. Overcoming the computer opponent is not easy at all – even at the "AMATEUR" level – not to mention the "PRO" and "WORLD CLASS". Mastering offensive and defensive tactics (described in "FIFA 08 tactical tips - Part I" and "FIFA08 tactical tips - Part II"), picking mentality and kick takers (see "Fifa08 Tactics – part III" and "Fifa 08 Tactics – Part VI") is advisable, but not enough. Additional tools for winning games are the little in-game tricks. Taking advantage of the throw-ins covered in the previous article ("Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part I"). In this article we deal with goal kicks.
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You have probably noticed throughout you play, that it is very hard to score goals with headers. The defender's positions seem to be programmed in a way that prevents easy "cross-head-score" combinations. Moreover, when playing against a computer, it is pretty hard to win aerial battles in places other than your own penalty box. So, delivering a goal kick or a long pass with the keeper into the center circle will probably lead to a loss of possession. When your keeper has possession it is advisable to throw the ball to one of your defenders (especially full backs, as there is almost no chance of intercepting the ball on the flank) or to drop the ball to your feet ("Through Ball" button) and start the attack on the ground.
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Goal Kick problems
However, when it's a goal kick – no such option exists. You may try to kick the ball to the side of the field. The chances of a computer opponent getting to the ball is small, but unfortunately, you will see many balls go out of bounds as passes may be too strong for your intended receiver. Kicking the ball in the opposing direction of your goal kick position (ie directing left when taking the kick on the right side of the goal and vise-versa) will improve your chances – but personally I don't like this either. Passing the ball weakly to the defender ("Pass" button) which was pretty effective in the previous versions of the game is very dangerous in Fifa 08, as the defender is positioned far from the goal and quick attacker has a chance of stealing the ball and going one-on-one with the keeper.
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The trick – Calling a defender
The trick here is simple. You should "Call second player", pressing the corresponding button (default "C" on the keyboard). This will bring one of your defenders close to the penalty area ,and allow you to pass him the ball safely. When playing against the computer, this tactic always does the trick, but you should watch out for your flesh-and-blood partner as he can trick you by positioning the attacker in front of your defender and taking the ball. By the way, you can do it too when your opponent makes a free kick… Calling second player can be done in free kicks and corners as well – but that is a separate chapter.
Scoring and winning in FIFA 08 - the Ultimate Guide to FIFA08
- FIFA08 Tactics - Part I - Offense
- Fifa08 Tactics. Part II – defense
- Fifa08 Tactical tips. Part III – Kick takers and offensive mentality.
- Fifa08 Tactical tips. Part IV – Defensive mentality and Man-Marking
- Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part I – Throw-in
- Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part II – Goal Kicks
- Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part III – Corner Kicks
- Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part IV – Free kicks
- Fifa 08 Practical Tips – Part V – Tackling