What is a Brace in Soccer: Laws of the Game

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

What is a brace in soccer? The beautiful game is full of terms and phrases that may be confusing or unfamiliar to new players and fans. Simply put, a brace refers to when a soccer player scores two goals in the same match.

In this blog post, I will explain everything you need to know about a basic, but important soccer term called a brace.

Brace in Soccer

What is a Brace in Soccer?

In soccer, the term ‘brace’ means scoring two goals in a single game and it is an impressive feat. If the soccer match is played over two legs with an aggregate score, the two goals must be scored in the same game to be considered a brace.

If a player scores one goal, that is not enough to be considered a brace and if a player scores three goals, that counts as a hat trick, not a brace. The goals can be scored at any point in the soccer game including regulation time, injury time, and extra time.

The two goals can also come from open play or through set pieces such as corner kicks, free kicks, or penalty kicks. If the game goes into a penalty shootout, a goal from that shootout does not count towards the brace.

Where does the Word Brace come from?

Back in the day, hunters used to say ‘brace’ when they killed two animals, such as two pheasants or two deer. This hunting tradition found its way into other sports like cricket and soccer and now people call it a “brace” when someone scores two goals in a single match.

The word brace can also be traced back even further in time to the old Anglo-French language which was the foundation for the old English language. During this time the term “brace” meant a “pair of two arms” and eventually the word became known for describing a pair of anything in general.

Over time, in the 19th century, soccer fans adopted the word for when a player scores two goals in one game before the final whistle of regulation time or extra time.

Usage of the Word “Brace” Across Different Cultures

The term ‘brace’ has traveled the world from English to Spanish to Italian. English speakers obviously call it a “brace” while Spanish speakers call it a ‘doblete,’ Italians call it ‘doppietta,’ but it all means the same: scoring two goals in one game.

Rules for Scoring a Brace

In soccer, scoring a brace happens when the same player scores exactly two goals in one match and here are the most important rules to know when it comes to scoring a brace.

  • Scoring a brace doesn’t require goals to be back-to-back or even in the same half.
  • FIFA’s official rules state that other goals can be scored in between without spoiling the brace party.
    • So, if Player A scores, then Player B scores, and later Player A strikes again, it’s still a brace.
  • Goals scored during regular match play contribute to the brace count, but those scored during penalty shootouts don’t.
    • This rule keeps the integrity and significance of braces intact, as penalty shootouts involve multiple players taking turns
  • For a goal to count, the entire soccer ball must cross the goal’s goal line.

Brace in Soccer

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who has scored the most “braces” in the Champions League?

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United and Real Madrid legend, holds the record for the most “braces” in Champions League history with 215 braces to his name.

Who has scored the most “braces” in the Premier League?

From 2022-2023, Erling Haaland is the player who has scored the most “braces” in the Premier League.

What is a hat trick in soccer?

A hat trick in soccer is when a single player scores three goals in one game. The goals do not have to be three consecutive deliveries, but for a hat trick it does have to be exactly three goals. A perfect hat trick is when a player scores with their right foot, left foot, and with their head.

What is it called when a single player scores four goals in one soccer game?

When a single player scores four goals in one game before the full time whistle, the is referred to as a “Haul.”

Conclusion

In conclusion, to score a brace in the beautiful game a single player must score two goals in one game. If a player scores one, it is not a brace, and if a player scores three or four, it is called a hat trick and a haul, respectively. In this blog post, I covered everything you need to know about the brace in soccer.

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