wrong-foot

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wrong-foot

1. In soccer, to make a shot that makes a defender or goal keeper stumble or lose balance. The midfielder scored the critical tie-breaking goal just minutes before the end of regular time, wrong-footing the keeper with an incredible shot to the top corner of the net.
2. By extension, to maneuver in such a way as to catch someone off guard, especially so as to put them in an awkward or disadvantageous position. The quick-witted journalist wrong-footed the politician several times during the interview. I'm not trying to wrong-foot the board of directors, I'm just trying to do what I think is morally correct.

wrong-foot

Deceive by moving differently from what one expects, as in He won quite a few points by wrong-footing his opponent. This expression comes from tennis, where it means to hit the ball in the direction the opponent is moving away from. It was transferred to other applications in the late 1900s, as in Susan Larson's review of a concert: "Music wrong-footing and deceiving the ear" ( Boston Globe, November 1, 1994).
References in periodicals archive ?
And Adams scored the winner after 33 minutes, coolly wrong-footing goalkeeper Sam Russell before firing home.
With Brian Barry-Murphy injured, Casper played teenage midfielder Nicky Adams as a makeshift striker - and he duly scored the winner, coolly wrong-footing goalkeeper Sam Russell before firing home.
Plan "A" involved "wrong-footing" Saddam into providing a legal pretext for war.
Martin Devaney was the instigator, looping over a cross which Julian Alsop headed down for Brayson who turned home after cleverly wrong-footing the Terriers keeper.
Substitute Stephen Dobbie then made an immediate impact with his deflected shot wrong-footing Lee Camp and trickling into the net, before two quickfire goals from Campbell sent Blackpool to the Wembley showpiece on May 22.
Brompton, to their credit, stepped up a gear and, after some sloppy defending, were given a lifeline when a ball was driven in, wrong-footing Bothroyd and sailing into the net.
Simon is Mr Control, but little signs in his body language show Cheryl is wrong-footing him by flirting.
"The Chelsea and Skipton boards may talk of wrong-footing carpetbaggers by their decision to allow the resolutions to go ahead, but it looks as though they didn't have any choice.
Burnley failed to clear an Aspinall corner, the ball fell to Taylor and his shot took a wicked deflection before wrong-footing keeper Beresford.
It is precisely the right tactic for wrong-footing the vile hotheads in the Tory Party.