How Long Is Extra Time in Soccer?

The game of soccer lasts for 90 minutes at the professional level and these 90 minutes are broken down into two halves of 45 minutes each known as the first half and the second half. These halves also have additional time or stoppage time and this allows for more time to be added to the game at the end of each half of soccer.

Meanwhile, during a competitive league season, soccer games end with a draw, win, or loss at the blast of the final whistle. The teams that win gain 3 points, the team that loses gets no point, and both teams share 1 point each if the match ends in a draw which can be scoreless or with goals.

Let’s take a look at tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, Euros, AFCON, Copa America, and the like where there must be a winner when the knockout stage is reached. 

Once this stage is reached, the concept of extra time comes into play. For instance, in the FIFA World Cup, extra time consists of two 15-minute halves with some stoppage time. The team that wins at the end of extra time carries the day.

Many questions on the concept of extra time in soccer abound and you’ll get a full explanation of how crucial it is in the round leather game of soccer. Read on.

How Long is the Break Before Extra Time Begins?

For those who watch soccer games regularly, you have seen that the match goes into extra time after the 90 minutes of action, and regulation time ends in a draw. This is the norm in the knockout stages of notable soccer tournaments. 

After 90 minutes of action, the break before the commencement of extra time lasts for 5 minutes. During this 5-minute break, the traditional coin flip process is done to determine the side that begins the game at the start of the first extra period. 

The break also allows coaches to make the necessary substitutions to freshen up their team with more energetic players. 

How Many Minutes Are in Extra Time in a Soccer Match?

Extra time in soccer lasts for 30 minutes. These 30 minutes are broken down into two 15-minute halves just as applies to when the 90 minutes in regular time are broken down into two 45-minute halves. 

Stoppage time is also added at the end of each 15-minute half and this is at the discretion of the referee. 

Stoppages during the game like goal celebrations, injuries to players, and time-wasting antics, amongst others contribute to the length of the stoppage time that the referee will give before the blast of his whistle.

Will the Game Automatically End when One Team Scores During Extra Time?

The action continues during extra time regardless of if one team or both sides find the back of the net during the action. Teams that concede in extra time still have ample time to get back into the game. It is never over until the final blast of the referee’s whistle at the end of the game.

When Does a Penalty Shootout Occur?

Penalty Shootout in soccer comes into play when there is no winner between both sides in a game that must be won. At this stage of the tournament, a draw will not suffice as one team has to be eliminated. 

READ: What Is A Brace In Soccer?

Therefore, a penalty shootout is introduced to ensure that one side comes out tops at the end of the day. The penalty shootout will see each team coming up with 5 designated penalty players against the opponent’s goalkeeper. 

The side that leads in PKs at the end of the 5 kicks ends up as the winner. Sometimes, it may not get to the 5th shootout before the winner emerges, and sometimes it can exceed the 5th penalty. 

The most recent example is the 2021/22 Carabao Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley in February 2022. The game ended in a goalless draw after extra time, and the game went into penalties

Both sides converted their 10 penalty kicks and the winner was decided in the 11th kick when both goalkeepers had to face each other. Caoimhin Kelleher converted his penalty for Liverpool while Kepa Arrizabalaga missed his for Chelsea and the Reds won the trophy.

What about the Golden Goal Rule in Soccer?

The golden goal rule was used in the France 98 World Cup and it was the first golden goal in World Cup history. Laurent Blanc scored for hosts France against Paraguay in the 114th minute in the round of 16 knockout stages. 

The game ended as soon as the goal was scored and this is the concept of the golden goal rule in soccer. The first team that scores during extra time regardless of how many minutes have been played, wins the game as the referee ends the game immediately after the ball hits the back of the net.

Regardless, both the golden goal and silver goal were scrapped from the rules of the game in 2004 by IFAB. With the removal of the golden goal rule, both teams must fight to the end of the 30 minutes of extra time plus stoppage time to emerge victoriously. If no one wins after extra time, then a penalty shootout ensues.

READ: What is relegation in soccer?

How Long is Overtime in College Soccer?

Soccer is also played in colleges and has overtime. The overtime in college soccer is two 10-minute periods that are introduced to ensure that a winner emerges. Regardless, the golden goal rule is still applied in college soccer, and the first team that scores wins the game.

Finally, one question that has lingered is why regular-season soccer games don’t have extra time. As was pointed out earlier, in league soccer, a draw results in both sides sharing the spoils and getting one point each.

Also, league soccer comprises a large number of games, and to reduce fatigue and unnecessary injuries, it has been designed with no extra time in place.

Teams are arranged in a tabular form and the side that amasses the most points at the end of the season comes out top.

This is the case in the English Premier League, La Liga, Italian Serie A, and the Bundesliga, amongst other elite soccer leagues all around the world. With the league design, a team can end up as the winner of the league title even before their final game of the season.


As noted earlier in the article, the extra time comes into play in the business stages or knockout stages of the tournament when a draw would no longer suffice and a winner must be decided. 

The Golden Goal rule was previously in play and would determine the winner of the game once a goal was scored in extra time as the game would come to an end immediately. 

However, this is no longer the case as the game of soccer continues to evolve. If a winner can’t be decided at extra time, penalties ensue. Even if a team takes the lead in extra time, the game continues as the golden goal rule has been scrapped. 

So, the answer to the question of; How long is extra time in soccer, goes this way. Extra time in soccer lasts for 30 minutes which is divided into two halves of 15 minutes. Additional time can also be added at the end of these halves at the referee’s discretion due to stoppages during the period of extra time.