It's a long way back for Villareal. They were still in the game at 2-1, but it is hard to see them recovering from a two goal deficit in the final 20 minutes here.

Could you tell me what the phrase "in the game" means in this context especially in football (soccer)?

  • Do you really not know what a game is? "still In the game" means "still playing the game and capable of winning." Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 8:02
  • @P.E.Dant I thought it is a phrase, so I didn't understand. I thought "in the game" means to loss because there is the word "at 2-1". Thanks for the clarification. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 8:41
  • Did you try a search for the phrase "still in the game" in a reference work on idioms? It is clearly defined in half a dozen of them. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Someone "still in the game" is an idiom that means: despite having trouble competing they still have a chance to come back, get out of the troublesome situation, and maybe even win.

in this context, even though Villareal team was losing 1-2 after 70 minutes of the match, it was still possible to make it even, and score one other goal in the remaining 20 minutes.

but this chance of coming back have been drastically reduced, when the adversary team scored a 3rd goal at the minute 20, making the deficit 2 instead of one, and the way back longer/harder for Villareal

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