Match: Set pieces and special events
In this match chapter we will move a little bit deeper and focus on two important match details: how you score from set pieces and what you can gain from "special events" (and other additional match events).
Some of your basic attacks will result in a set pieces opportunity. Just as in real football, you can earn many points by being good at set pieces. There are two types of set pieces, direct and indirect.
Direct set pieces
Direct set pieces are penalties and direct free kicks. To score your appointed set pieces taker uses his set pieces skill to outwit the opposing goalkeeper. Your goalkeeper uses set pieces in addition to his goalkeeping skill when defending against direct set pieces, but he can not be your set pieces taker.
Indirect set pieces
About 1/3 of your set pieces chances will be indirect. Indirect set pieces are indirect free kicks, and the outcome depends on team effort. To attack you use (in order of importance) your outfield players' average scoring skill, their average set pieces skill, and your set pieces taker's set pieces skill.
To defend you use (in order of importance) your outfielders' average defending, their average set pieces, your goalkeeper's goalkeeping, and his set pieces.
Apart from the basic attacks, you can also have "special events" happen. Special events are match events depending on players' attributes, and particularly their specialities, which makes it a strategy itself to compose a squad that has a good balance of player specialities.
When a special event happens your chance to experience it is the same as your ball possession (which means 55% possession means a 55% chance of receiving the special event). Remember, you must also have players with the right attribute for a particular event to experience it.
There are two types of special events: Goal events (more common) can gain you additional attacks and weather events (less common) affect an individual player's performance for the rest of the game. For each special event happening in a match, the chance for another special event decreases.
Certain specialities are better suited to certain weather conditions. If a weather event happens, a certain player's performance is affected for the rest of the game:
Technical players gain some Scoring and Playmaking in sun, and lose some of them in rain.
Powerful players gain some Scoring, Defending and Playmaking in the rain, and lose some Scoring in the sun. They also get more tired in the sun.
Quick players lose some Scoring and Defending in rain. They also lose some Defending in sun.
If a weather event happens you will get information about it in the match report, and the player's star rating will also reflect his performance accordingly.
Specialities (and other player attributes) can gain you additional attacks. In addition to what is listed below, the player who puts the chance away (often, but not always, the same player who creates the chance) also needs some scoring skill in order to score from these attacks.
Unpredictable players can use their passing skill to create unexpected long passes, and their scoring skill to intercept the ball. Their unpredictability itself may also create unlikely scoring opportunities. If an unpredictable defender or inner midfielder has sufficiently low defence skill, they can also make a reckless error that will give the opponent a chance to score.
Quick wingers and forwards can create a chance by using a burst of speed. This can be countered by the opposing team using a defensive player (defender or inner midfielder) who is also quick, or has sufficient defending skill to keep up.
Technical wingers and forwards can create chances if an opposing defender or inner midfielder is a head specialist.
Wingers with sufficient winger skill can create chances that will have to be finished off by another winger or a forward. If that other player is a head specialist or has sufficient scoring skill, he will be more likely to score.
Corner: To score from a corner kick, the player responsible for taking your set pieces will need to have sufficient set pieces skill and the player receiving the ball from the corner will have to have sufficient scoring skill. The higher the number of outfield head specialists in your team (your set pieces taker does not count), and the lower the number of outfield head specialists among your opponent's, the better your chances to score. Having no head specialists at all will make you very weak at defending against corners and very weak at scoring from your own corners.
Experience: experienced wingers and forwards can score using their experience. Inexperienced defenders and inner midfielders can give their opponents an extra chance.
Tiredness: Tired defensive players (defenders and inner midfielders) can make mistakes. Unless the opposing attacker is also too tired, this may create a chance for the opponent.
Other additional match events
There are also some additional events you can get in a match. The chance to get these events is not dependent on midfield strength, so the chance doesn't increase if you're dominating the midfield.
Counter-attacks: Even if you don't use the counter-attack tactic there is a slim chance that your team gets to counter. These "tactic-independent" counter-attacks do not require your team to have an inferior midfield (which otherwise is necessary to counter). See the chapter about tactics for more info about counter-attacks.
Long shots: Even if you don't use the long shot tactic there is a slim chance that your team gets a long shot opportunity. Read the tactics chapter for more info about long shots.