I don't understand the verb "left it", what does it mean? What does "it" refer to?

At the death! ⏱

Richarlison left it late to net a dramatic equaliser on our last trip to The Hawthorns! 🇧🇷⚽️

#WatfordFC | #GoalOfTheDay https://t.co/vgyWlVXF7D

  • 1
    Google the expression to leave something late Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 7:28
  • Presumably the equaliser was scored in the last few minutes of the match. Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 9:10
  • Could you te me what "left it" means here?
    – Jembot
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 9:15
  • Did you do as Ronald suggested? I did, and I found this definition. In this case, he didn't leave it 'too late', just late (near the end of the match). Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


"Left it late" is an idiomatic expression meaning that you have waited until the last moment to do something. In some contexts, it can imply procrastination, but crucially it doesn't usually mean that you have left it too late.

In the context of your example, a sporting match, it doesn't really suggest procrastination, or that any deliberate delaying took place. It is just a dramatic way of saying that the equalising goal was scored in the final moments of the game.

The word "it" in any context refers to something either previously mentioned, or tacitly understood. When using this phrase, 'it' could refer to the subject already being discussed, but in your example, the sentence goes on to state the thing that was left until late - the goal.

  • Does "leave" itself mean to score in this context? "It" refers to "goal."
    – Jembot
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 23:31
  • @Jembot It just means "to wait". We say "waited until last minute" as well as "left it until last minute".
    – Astralbee
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 11:24

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