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Argentina’s offensive defence strategy almost caused a sensation!

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In their second Preliminary Round match (Group D) Argentina took the big favourite Poland by surprise due to their offensive and active defence strategy: The attack of the opponent was often actively disturbed by two offensive defence players already at the centre line. The offensive and highly flexible 3:3 defence could repeatedly force the powerful Polish back court player to make unprepared throws. After 24 minutes the score was only 4:5!
Especially in terms of defence Argentina chose an also highly flexible 4:0 plus 2 defence which repeatedly enticed the numerically inferior Polish offence to commit mistakes. Argentina marked the dangerous long-range scorers Bielecki and Lijewski already at the centre line. In 4-on-3 situations before the free-throw line the Argentinean defence players could repeatedly double the attacking player with ball or block spaces in the centre and ways of passing. The picture row shows Argentina’s basic defence behaviour in case of numerical superiority in defence
 The basic constellation of the Argentinean numerically superior defence: two back court players are marked one-on-one at the centre line; in front of the free-throw line a flexible 4:0 defence acts against three attacking players. Three defence players orient themselves towards the ball against the left attacking player. The way to the inside is consciously left open for the ball holder.
Both attacking players are almost encircled by the defence! There’s hardly a chance to break through. The left attacking player passes back to the centre attacking player who receives the ball in an inoffensive position while standing..
 The centre attacking player again has to move forwards dribbling; the defence pulls back a bit.  Both attacking players are crossing in front of the defence without pressure- the first criteria for a tendency to passive to be recognized by the referees.


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 Pass to the crossing attacking player. It’s clearly recognizable that the attacking players don’t make use of the larger spaces and thus defending becomes even easier. While the centre attacking player moves forward bouncing, the left outside defender offensively blocks the way of passing to the right attacking player.
 The ball holder is preparing for the one-on-one situation. However he’s tactically doubled by both attacking players.  The offence only succeeds in interrupting the game through foul play; a more effective play without ball in such situations was very rare.