break the deadlock

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break the deadlock (third-person singular simple present breaks the deadlock, present participle breaking the deadlock, simple past broke the deadlock, past participle broken the deadlock)

  1. (idiomatic, sports) To score the first goal or point in a competition.
    • 2011 January 8, Chris Bevan, “Arsenal 1 - 1 Leeds”, in BBC[1]:
      The Gunners continued to press after the break but it was Leeds who broke the deadlock in the 54th minute. There was no doubt about the penalty either, with Denilson clumsily fouling Gradel and Snodgrass stepping up to find the bottom corner of the net.
    • 2021 September 2, Phil McNulty, “Hungary 0-4 England”, in BBC[2]:
      Sterling was once again England's key figure, as he was in the Euros, scoring the goal that broke the deadlock before setting up the second for Kane.