run the clock down

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run the clock down

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team has started to run the clock down to hold on for a win. It seems like a risky strategy, Jim. There's a lot of game time left for them to start running the clock down already.
See also: clock, down, run
References in periodicals archive ?
Everybody runs the clock down against us, but without making excuses the pitch is really difficult to play the sort of football I want to play.