Para dizer "encaixar a bola" em inglês, neste contexto, sugiro "clutch the ball to your chest".
Veja um exemplo da BBC UK:
''The loose ball falls perfectly for Burns but his shot lacks oomph and the grateful Danish keeper clutches the ball to his chest in the manner of an old friend...''.
Mais um exemplo do 'savannahnow.com USA'
''Gravity takes over, and as he begins to fall, he clutches the ball to his chest before landing hard.''