How does a soccer game end? This question often arises in the minds of avid fans and casual viewers of the beautiful game. Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, is a sport that captivates millions with its skill, athleticism, and unpredictable nature.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various ways a soccer game can reach its conclusion, shedding light on the rules and regulations governing each outcome.

Full-Time Result

The Most Common Ending At the end of regular time, which consists of two halves, a soccer game can result in one of three outcomes: a win, a loss, or a draw. When one team scores more goals than the other, they win.

Conversely, if a team concedes more goals, they suffer a defeat. However, if both teams score equal goals, the match ends in a draw.

Extra Time and Penalties

Deciding Winners in Tournaments In knockout tournaments or crucial matches that require a definitive winner, a soccer game can proceed to extra time if the score remains level at the end of regular time.

Extra time consists of two additional halves, typically lasting 15 minutes each. During this period, teams continue to battle it out, and if one team scores more goals than the other, they secure victory.

If the scoreline remains unchanged after extra time, the game moves to a penalty shootout. Each team takes turns shooting penalties from a designated spot in a penalty shootout. The team that scores more penalties after a certain number of attempts emerges as the winner.

Abandoned Matches

When the Game Cannot Continue In rare circumstances, a soccer game may be abandoned before reaching its natural conclusion. This can occur due to adverse weather conditions, crowd disturbances, or unforeseen events threatening player safety. When a match is abandoned, the decision regarding its rescheduling or replay lies with the governing body or competition organizers.

Golden Goal and Silver Goal

A Thing of the Past: FIFA experimented with alternative methods to decide matches without resorting to penalty shootouts. Two such methods were the golden goal and silver goal rules. The golden goal meant that the first team to score during extra time would instantly win the match. Similarly, the silver goal required the leading team to be declared the winner at the halfway point of extra time.

However, the golden goal and silver goal rules have been phased out by FIFA and are no longer in use. The unpredictable nature of soccer and the desire for fair play led to their abandonment.


The Drama of Soccer’s Endings Soccer games have many ways to reach their conclusion, ensuring thrilling moments and unforgettable drama. Whether it’s a clear victory at the end of regular time, a tense extra-time battle, or the nail-biting tension of a penalty shootout, the ending of a soccer game is always a spectacle.

Understanding how a soccer game ends adds depth to our appreciation of this incredible sport. So, the next time you’re watching a match, pay close attention to the evolving scoreline and be prepared for the excitement of the final whistle.

In this guide, we have explored the different endings of a soccer game, ranging from full-time results to extra time, penalties, and abandoned matches. By gaining insights into these various outcomes, you can enhance your understanding of the rules and regulations that shape the conclusion of a soccer game.

Remember, the beauty of soccer lies not only in the goals scored or saves made but also in the unpredictable nature of its endings. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy the captivating journey of a soccer game from kickoff to its thrilling climax.