run somebody/something close
run (someone or something) close
To nearly match or surpass someone or something in one's performance, skill, or ability. While he is still the undisputed master of filmmaking in my opinion, there are a few directors who run him close. She finished first to retain her championship title, but the favored newcomer ran her very close—just half a second behind her.
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run somebody/something ˈclose(British English) be nearly as good, fast, successful, etc. as somebody/something else: Germany ran Argentina very close in the final.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017