VIDEO: Colombian curl shot a contender for goal of the tournament

Auckland’s David Grey has studied more than 1,000 goals scored by elite footballers to uncover the science behind the art of a curl shot. He’s been following the FIFA Women’s World Cup for more examples of the curl shot.

By David Grey

It’s Colombia against Germany in a packed-out Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Still 0-0 in the second half. The ball bounces to Linda Caicedo just inside the 18-yard box.

She jinks left, jinks right, then a right-footed curl shot … “CALCEDOOOOOOO! OH, WHAT A GOAL!”

Caicedo’s sensational top-corner curler is being touted by many as a ‘goal of the tournament’ contender at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Again, it’s a mesmerising curl shot that’s grabbed the headlines; this time in Colombia’s electrifying 2-1 triumph over Germany.

Main photo: Colombia’s Linda Calcedo. Photo credit: Mark Metcalfe – FIFA via Getty Images.

Colombia play Jamaica in the Round of 16.


Game to be played on Tuesday August 8, 2023

Colombia v Jamaica
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, 8pm (NZT)

Watch Calcedo’s curl shot against Germany

What is a curl shot in football?

A curl shot involves working the physics laws of aerodynamics in your favour, where an off-centre strike will impart side-spin that curls the ball’s flight.

Its effectiveness lies in curving around the reach of defenders and goalkeeper on its path to goal, particularly when aimed towards the far post.

READ MORE: The physics behind the moment of footballing magic called the curl shot >>>>

Previous research of 1,000 goals in the English Premier League has identified where on the pitch the curl shot is most likely to be successful.

READ MORE: New research reveals top goalscoring technique >>>>

Caicedo scored her goal against Germany from within Zone 1 with a curl shot towards the far top corner.

Caicedo (18) is no stranger to a well-executed curl shot. She also scored a week earlier, on her World Cup debut, outmanoeuvring the South Korean goalkeeper with a long-range curler to secure Columbia’s 2-0 victory.

Watch Calcedo’s goal against South Korea

Caicedo’s curl-shooting is made all the more deadly by her role on the pitch. Playing as an inverted left winger, Caicedo will cut in regularly to shoot with curl on her favoured right foot.

She demonstrated this in 2022 year at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica when Caicedo scored two significant curl shot goals against New Zealand. That performance helped secure her move to Real Madrid Feminino.

Watch Calcedo’s goals against New Zealand

Calcedo’s first goal is scored 1’45” into the highlights clip. Her second is scored at 6′ 42″.

Football Fern’s rising star Milly Clegg (17) also scored a curl shot of her own for New Zealand in the same match which you can see at 0′ 45″.

David Grey

David Grey is an Auckland-based football researcher who coaches with the 18 Yard Club and plays as a striker for Northern League club Manurewa.

You can find his two-part special feature on the curl shot at the following links:

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