What Does GF Mean In Soccer? – Complete Guide

Soccer is one sport that has a significant number of acronyms that have meanings and although the sport is very popular, not everyone understands what these acronyms mean although they see them from time to time.

Fans of league football will be conversant with the acronym GF in soccer as it stands out in soccer league tables like Major League Soccer, Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, amongst others. 

As some do not understand what the acronym stands for, especially newbies, you’ll see questions like; What does GF mean in soccer? pop up occasionally.

In this article, we’ll be throwing more light on the concept of GF in soccer as well as what it means. Read on to know more. 

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What Does GF Mean in Soccer?

GF is an abbreviation in soccer (association football) that means “goals for.” The Goals For stat line represent how many goals a soccer club scored during the regular season and plays a vital role in ranking the best soccer teams for the season in question.  

For instance, a look at the 2021/22 Premier League season table will show you the GF stat for all the clubs that participated in the league in the aforementioned season as well as all the goals they scored from Matchday 1 to Matchday 38. 

For a practical example, it can be recalled that Manchester City won the 2021/22 Premier League title on the last day of the season. If you look at the table at the end of the season or any point in the season, their GF stat was visible. 

Meanwhile, at the end of the season, the Citizens had a total GF stat of 99. This means that they scored a whopping 99 goals in the 2021/22 season. 

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Also note that the GF may be represented as (F meaning For), or (G for Goals), amongst others in some tables. Regardless, this stat will only be seen on a comprehensive league table at any point in a season.

Do the Number of Goals Scored During a Regular Season Matter?

In a club league season, the side that comes out tops on any matchday garners maximum points regardless of the number of goals that were scored and conceded. 

Garnering maximum points from games is the goal of every team although there are situations where the number of goals that are scored will play a major role, especially in leagues where the head-to-head rule is not employed.

As well all know, only 1 point will be awarded to both sides respectively if a soccer game ends in a draw. As noted earlier, although match points are an easy way to tally up who had the best record, there are instances where teams can tie for the exact match point record at the end of a season. 

That is where GF (goals for) comes into play and why teams try and score more goals during a game even if they are winning. 

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However, before we get to that, we need to understand how to calculate match points and explain how GF and GD come into play to determine the best team when the match points are tied.

How to Calculate Match Point Totals in Soccer?

The Premier League has 38 games, whereas Major League Soccer (MLS) has 34. Both use the same match point system, with the winner receiving three points and a draw receiving one. Any side that loses a game ends up with zero points.

To compute the match point totals, add the number of matches and their outcomes together. Take, for example, all 38 games played by two Premier League teams that season. In the following example, regardless of the number of goals scored, Team A had a better point season. 

Let’s use the 2021/22 Premier League season as a reference.

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  • League winners Manchester City had 29 wins (3 points), 6 draws, and 3 losses. This resulted in a total of 93 points. That is 29 wins x 3 points = 87. Then 87 + 6 draws = Total of 93.
  • The 2021/22 Premier League runners-up Liverpool had 28 wins, 8 draws, and 2 losses, and this resulted in a total of 92 points.

From the calculations above it was a close shave. For GF stats, it was 99 to 94 in favor of Manchester City.

What Happens If Two Teams Have the Same Number of Match Points? 

During the regular season, two (or more) clubs may tie, which necessitates the determination of a champion. Here’s an example of two soccer clubs tied for the same season point total. For example:

  • Team 1 has 30 wins (3 points) and seven ties for a total of 97 match points. 
  • Team 2 has 32 wins (3 points) and one tie, for a total of 97 match points. 

In the above scenario, the GD (Goals Difference) formula must be used to help break the tie between Team 1 and Team 2 to determine who comes out tops.

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The Relationship Between GD, GA, and GF

In association football, GD stands for goal difference, and the totals GF (goals for) versus GA (goals against) are used to determine which team was superior. We’ll use the 2021/22 Premier League table again.

  • Manchester City – GF (99), GA (26). The GD is derived by subtracting the GA from GF. Therefore, the GD is 73.
  • Liverpool – GF (94), GA (26). The GD = 68

Manchester City had the advantage with a higher GD. Although both sides conceded the same number of goals, the Citizens scored more than Liverpool.

What Happens If More Than One Team Has the Same GD Score? 

If a tie remains after the GD breakdown, the tiebreaker is determined by whose team had the most goals for (GF) during the season. 

Soccer Abbreviations & Acronyms You Should Know 

Most Soccer League Tables will include the following columns to break down how each team is performing throughout the season. These soccer statistics can be found in the Europa League, MLS, FIFA, The English Premier League, and other leagues. 

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  • MP / GP / PLD: Played Matches / Games Played / Played 
  • W: A victory that earns the squad three points. 
  • D: This signifies a draw meaning that there was no winner nor loser. Therefore, both teams receive one point respectively. 
  • L: Loss 
  • GF/G/GS: Goals for/Goals/Goals Scored
  • GA/GC stands for Goals Against or Goals Conceded
  • GD is for Goals Difference. The Goals Difference takes the goals against and subtracts them from the goals for. The result could be a positive or negative value. 
  • GAvg: Goal average, which compares the number of goals scored to the number of games played by a squad. 
  • PK stands for Penalty Kicks. 
  • Points are awarded for overall wins (3 points) and ties (1 point) 
  • POS: A club’s position in a soccer league. 

As we pointed out earlier, you won’t find most of these stats in league tables as they only provide a few of them. Only a comprehensive league table will have all these stats available.

Conclusion: What Does GF Mean In Soccer?

GF in soccer means the number of goals that have been scored by a team in league competition or tournament and applies to both club and international soccer.  

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It is one of the major determinants of the GD and this comes into play when the sides contending for a position have the same GF stats. The GD will be derived by subtracting the GA (Goals Against) from the GF (Goals For)