Overtime in soccer: Soccer is a thrilling sport loved and watched by millions of fans worldwide. In the heat of competition, matches sometimes require additional time beyond the standard 90 minutes to determine a winner. This additional time is known as overtime or extra time.

This blog post will explore the concept of overtime in soccer, its purpose, rules, and key associated terms.

What is Overtime?

Overtime in soccer, also called extra time, is an additional period played after the standard 90 minutes of a soccer match. It aims to determine a winner when a game ends in a draw after regular time. The length of overtime may vary depending on the competition and the regulations in place.

Purpose of Overtime

The primary purpose of overtime is to provide both teams an equal opportunity to break the deadlock and determine a winner. It adds intensity, drama, and excitement to the game as teams strive to score and secure victory within the allocated time.

Overtime Rules


In most soccer competitions, overtime consists of two halves. The duration of each half is typically 15 minutes, making a total of 30 minutes of extra time. However, this can vary depending on the tournament rules.


Teams are usually allowed to make additional substitutions during overtime. This allows coaches to introduce fresh legs and tactical changes to influence the match’s outcome.

Goals and Scoring

Goals scored during overtime are counted towards the final result. If a team scores more goals than their opponent during this period, they will be declared the winner. However, if the score remains tied after overtime, the match may proceed to a penalty shootout (depending on the competition rules) to determine the winner.

Golden Goal and Silver Goal

In some past competitions, specific rules called for a different approach to overtime. The “Golden Goal” rule meant that the first team to score during extra time would instantly win the match. The “Silver Goal” rule was similar, but if a team scored in the first half of extra time, the match would continue until the end of the second half. These rules are no longer widely used.

Overtime Terminology

Extra Time

Extra time is the synonymous term for overtime. It refers to the additional playing period after the standard 90 minutes of a soccer match.

Stoppage Time

Stoppage time, also known as added time or injury time, is the extra time the referee adds at the end of each half to compensate for time lost due to substitutions, injuries, and other game stoppages.

Half-Time Interval

The half-time interval is the break between the two halves of overtime. It allows players to rest, receive instructions from the coach, and make any necessary adjustments for the second half of extra time.

Periods of Extra Time

Overtime in soccer is divided into two equal periods. Each period is typically 15 minutes long, but this can vary depending on the competition and tournament rules.

Sudden Death

Sudden death is when the first team to score during overtime wins the match instantly. If a team scores, the game is immediately over, and the scoring team is declared the winner.


Overtime in soccer, also known as extra time, adds an exciting dimension to soccer matches when a winner cannot be determined within 90 minutes. Understanding overtime rules, terminology, and purpose enhances our appreciation for the game and the strategies teams employ to secure victory.

So, the next time you find yourself engrossed in a match beyond regulation time, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the spectacle of overtime soccer.