GD In Soccer

Soccer GD

GD is a statistic in soccer known as “goal difference.” What does this mean, and how is it used? We'll break that down for you below.

What Does GD Mean in Soccer?

Goal difference, also known as goal differential or points difference, is a team's total goals scored minus their goals conceded. This is why goal difference can be displayed as both a positive (+) or negative (-) number. GD can be used to evaluate the relative strength of teams within a league, with a higher value expressing dominance against more opponents.

How Is Goal Differential Calculated?

Goal difference is calculated by subtracting the number of goals conceded across all league matches from the number of goals scored in league play. A goal scored by one team not only adds a point to their goal difference but also subtracts a point from their opponent’s GD. Thus if you add all of the GD values in a league’s table, the sum should be zero.

How Do You Use GD in Soccer?

Goal difference is most often used as a statistical tiebreaker between two teams tied on a league table (standings). If two or more teams have the same number of total points (awarded based on the results of matches), the team with the higher goal difference value will be awarded the higher position. GD is also used as the primary tie-breaker in tournaments with a group stage, such as the FIFA World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, etc. If two tied teams have the same GD, total goals scored and other further tiebreakers will be used.


What is the difference between GD, GA, and GF in soccer?

GD, GA, and GF are abbreviations for different goal-related statistics in soccer. GD refers to goal difference and is defined as the difference between the number of goals a team has scored and the number they have allowed. GA refers to “goals against” and is solely the number of goals a team has allowed to be scored against them. Meanwhile, GF equates to “goals for” and refers to the number of goals a team has scored. Therefore, GD can technically also be written as GF - GA = GD.

What was used before GD?

In soccer statistics, GD has replaced goal average, or goal ratio. Goal average divided goals scored by goals conceded. GD came into favor as it incentivized attacking and goal-scoring tactics and discouraged teams from using highly defensive strategies.

Is it better to have a higher or lower goal difference?

In soccer, it is better to have a higher goal difference. Because GD is written in terms of positive or negative numbers, with the number being determined by subtracting goals allowed from goals scored, a higher positive number result means that a team has more goals scored than goals allowed, which is far preferable to having more goals allowed than goals scored.