One-touch attacking triangle drill

by Pablo M03rd Mar 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Creating triangles in the pitch is a common offensive strategy that enables a team to quickly move the ball. This post breaks down a one-touch attacking triangle drill to break the defence and create a shooting opportunity at the edge of the box.


For this drill, you will need cones and a full-size goal. With the cones, create two lines about 3 metres long, one on the penalty spot and the other inside the semi-circle outside the box. Locate the starting cone about 5 metres outside the box. You can practice this drill with a goalkeeper or use target nets in the goal. This exercise requires 3 to 4 players: 3 players attacking and 1 goalkeeper or target nets


The players in the box move in opposite directions. For example, if the front player moves to receive the ball on the right, the back player must move to the right, and vice-versa. First, the starting player passes the ball to the front player, who returns the ball using one touch. Then, the starting player passes the ball to the back player through the gap. Finally, the back player passes the ball to the front player, who shoots on goal. After shooting, players rotate positions.

The pictures created with Tactics Manager and the videos at the end of this post illustrate how this triangle drill works.

 Remember these key points:

  • 3 players are required for this drill.
  • Players inside the box constantly move in opposite directions.
  • The ball is moved in triangles.
  • Only one touch is allowed (shooting is considered a touch).


This drill aims to create shooting opportunities by moving the ball in a one-touch attacking triangle. Players will improve these skills:

  • Reading the game. The back player keeps an eye on his teammate to move in the opposite direction. The starting player observes both players and passes the ball through the gap created.
  • Creating space. This exercise encourages intelligent movements from the offensive players to open the defence.
  • One-touch passing. Quick one-touch passes create gaps in the defence that can be exploited for penetration passes or shooting at goal.
  • Shooting. Do not execute this drill without a goalkeeper or target nets. You want every shooting opportunity to count.

Keep the intensity of the exercise and mix up the players’ movements so the drill becomes less predictable. Remember that the objective is to break the defence with quick passes. One variation you may want to consider is using defenders to pressure the players in the box. Be creative and create your own versions of this drill.

One touch attacking triangle - second pass
One touch attacking triangle - third pass
One touch attacking triangle - fourth pass and shoot