Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, as people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures unite to support their team throughout the season. Although soccer games are designed to last 90 minutes in regulation, it can feel like just a few minutes due to the high intensity causing you to constantly be on the edge of your seat.
How Long Does a Soccer Game Last?
A professional soccer match contains two 45 minute halves, with time added on at the conclusion of the half. In soccer, the clock doesn’t stop, so the referee will make up for time lost due to injury, stoppages, etc. with a small additional amount of time added. The added time typically consists of 3-7 minutes.
45 Minute Halves
The 45 minute halves allow for continuous play throughout the game, opposed to having multiple stoppages after a short 12 minute quarter. The longer halves allow for fans to watch an entire half with little to no commercials, which is a huge positive. Although the halves seem longer compared to other timed sports, the competitiveness in the players during each match makes each viewer feel they are a part of the team, and as a result the game flies by. At the conclusion of the first half, there is a 15 minute rest period for players to catch their breath.
How Long is Overtime
If a game is tied at the end of 90 minutes, two 15 minute halves of extra time will take place. There used to be a golden goal rule, meaning the first team to score in extra time would win the match. However, in 2003, this rule was amended by UEFA. The ruling was changed so that if a team scores a few minutes into extra time, the entirety of extra time must be played out. This allowed for some pretty exciting and nerve wracking games over the years. If the game is still tied after 30 minutes of extra time, a 5-man penalty shootout will decide the winner.
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