Soccer Extra Time

Soccer Extra Time

Extra time in soccer is used to determine the winning team of a soccer match if the score is tied at the end of regulation. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves, plus additional stoppage time added on to each interval. The team with the most goals at the end of extra time is the winner. If the score remains tied at the end of two extra time periods, penalty kicks are used to determine the winner.

Extra Time Rules

After the completion of regulation and additional stoppage time, teams are permitted a five-minute rest to recover and strategize with their coaches. Teams must remain on the field of play. In recent years, teams are now allowed to make a fourth substitution before the start of extra time or during the first period of extra time, regardless of whether they have used all three allotted substitution players in regulation time. 

Another coin toss with the captains settles which team defends each goal and who will kick off first in extra time. At the start of each extra time interval, the ball is put into play with a kickoff. Teams change halves after the first extra time period. There is minimal rest allowed. Extra time play is usually very tense and exhausting for the players involved, but very exciting for fans!

Extra time may have slightly different rules based on the tournament or league.

  • Olympics: Two 15-minute periods, no golden goal. Only three substitutes are allowed total during the game.
  • World Cup: Two 15-minute halves, no golden goal rule.
  • UEFA: Two 15-minute halves, with no golden goal. A sixth substitute exclusively during extra time and three stoppages of play can be used to make substitutions.

Sudden-Death Rules

A golden goal rule exists in some levels of play that acts as a “sudden-death” format. This means the first team to score a goal in extra time wins, and the game is immediately over. A silver goal rule exists in some levels of play where the team with the most goals at the end of the first extra time period is the winner.

In association football, extra time is not played in the “golden goal” format. If one team scores, the opposing team will have the remaining extra time to match their goal. If the score is still tied after extra time, penalties will be the next step for determining a winner.


How long is extra time in soccer?

In soccer, extra time consists of two 15-minute halves. Additional stoppage time is added to each extra time half based on time lost from substitutions, injuries, and other delays. Though it is a chance to make final pushes against one’s opponent, extra time is also when teams are most exhausted. Shooting and passing attempts are significantly lower than during normal play, but the pressure is never higher.

How does extra time work in soccer?

Extra time begins with a coin toss to determine which side each team defends and who will kickoff. There are two extra time periods that last 15 minutes each. The full amount of time is played to determine the winner, meaning there is no “golden goal” rule in place. If the score remains tied at the end of extra time, a penalty shootout will be performed.

How long is the break before extra time in soccer?

There is a five-minute break before the start of extra time, and players must remain on the field of play at the discretion of the referee. This break is much shorter than the 15-minute break during half-time.

Is extra time in soccer sudden-death?

Although it is occasionally used in some lower-level soccer tournaments, golden goal or “sudden-death” is not the extra time format of choice for most high-level soccer leagues. In golden goal, the first team to score a goal in extra time wins regardless of the amount of time left on the game clock. This serves as a “sudden death” ending. Typically, golden goal is not the extra time format used in most professional soccer tournaments.

Does soccer have overtime?

Yes, overtime in soccer is called extra time. There are two periods of play after regulation that last 15 minutes each. The team with the most goals at the end of extra time is declared the winner. The game goes into penalty kicks if the score is tied after extra time.