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What does let off the hook mean in football (soccer)? It appears in a Daily Telegraph article as follows:

Wales had been let off the hook by Suarez in the first period, but Uruguay finally made them pay when the second half resumed. A long ball escaped the red defence and Cristian Rodriguez found Cavani inside the six-yard box to give him the simplest of finishes.

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be off the hook. TFD

  1. To be pardoned, vindicated, released, or allowed to avoid blame, responsibility, obligation, or difficulty.

As in:

At first, Sam was suspected of stealing money from the safe, but he was off the hook after security camera footage showed it was someone else. A: "I thought you had that big work event tonight." B: "No, it got canceled, so I'm off the hook."

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In the soccer context, it means that they were lucky not to be punished (by Suarez), i.e. he maybe had some good chances to score against Wales but did not take those opportunities.

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