How Long is Extra Time in Soccer: Laws of the Game

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

How long is extra time in soccer? In the beautiful game, extra time is used to determine the winner of a match that ends in a tie after regulation time. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves, and a one-minute halftime break, plus additional stoppage time for each half.

In this guide I will explain everything you need to know about one of the most basic soccer rules, extra time.How long is extra time in soccer

When Does Extra Time Come into Play?

While every match includes stoppage time regardless of its outcome after regulation time, extra time is only introduced under specific circumstances – primarily during knockout stages of tournaments and play-off games where there needs to be a clear winner. Usually, professional soccer matches consist of two 45 minute halves plus stoppage time and a 15 minute halftime break.

The team that scores the most goals at the end of regulation time wins the match, but if the match ends in a draw then multiple things can happen. If the game is a league game, the game will end in a tie and both teams will get one point, but if the game needs a clear winner, the game will either go to extra time or a penalty shootout.

Extra Time Soccer Rules

The rules in extra time are the same exact rules as the rules in regulation time, the only difference is the length of the two halves and each team gets an extra substitution to make up for the extra running. Just like during the start of regulation time, a referee must perform a coin toss with the captains of each team to decide who gets the ball and who kicks off and the team that scores the most goals wins.

After regulation time, if there is extra time the players will get a 5 minute break to recover, hydrate and eat healthy snacks if they need to. Extra time is made up of two 15 minute halves plus stoppage time that is added at the end of each half, plus a one minute halftime break.

The team that scores the most goals at the end of extra time wins the match, but if there is still a tie the game will be decided by a penalty shootout. During penalty shootouts there are five main kickers and whoever scores the most out of five wins.

If both teams are tied after five penalties each, the penalty shootouts go into sudden death format and from there the team that misses first loses.

Variations in Extra Time Rules

The extra time rules are basically the same everywhere but there are slight variations based on the level of play, such as from youth to the professional level, and based on the tournament and league that is in charge of the match. Typically all professional and college level games will follow the rules above.

Straight to Penalties

Most youth soccer leagues and youth soccer games will go straight to penalty shootouts after regulation time, unless it is the championship game, which usually does allow overtime. Youth soccer overtimes will usually last about 10 minutes each.

Also other leagues and domestic cup competitions like England’s EFL Cup (formerly known as the Carling Cup) skip extra time altogether and go straight into penalty shootouts.

Golden Goal

A “golden goal” rule exists in some leagues and levels of play across the world and it acts like a “sudden death.” The first team to score during extra time wins the match.

Silver Goals

In response to criticisms about golden goals causing overly cautious play styles among teams, UEFA introduced silver plans between 2002 and 2004 in specific tournaments. Under these rules, if any team scored during either half of extra time but failed to maintain their lead until the end of said half, the game would continue onto the next period or even penalty kicks as necessary.r

Away goals

An alternative approach used by several competitions, including the Champions League, involves counting away goals double when aggregate scores remain level following home-and-away legs within two-legged ties.

If both sides have an equal total score over the two games, whoever scored the most away goals wins the overall match.How long is extra time in soccer

Image by Jeffrey F Lin

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an overtime period in a soccer match after 90 minutes?

If a soccer match ends in a tie and needs a clear winner the match will go into an overtime period of 30 minutes of game time plus injury time or added time.

What is the fourth official showing on the electronic board?

The fourth official will use an electronic board to signal how much injury time will be added to a half. They will also use the board for substitutions by putting up the jersey numbers of players going in and out.

How long is a World Cup soccer game?

A World Cup soccer game, whether it is a group stage game, knockout stage game, or a final will last 90 minutes, plus halftime break, and potentially extra time and penalty kicks if the match needs a clear winner.

What team takes the first penalty during a penalty shootout?

A coin toss determines which team takes the first penalty kick and which side of the field and which goal the penalty shootout will take place at.


In conclusion, understanding how long extra time is very important as a soccer player and it is one of the most basic rules to know. In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about extra time in soccer.

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