After having seen Brazil win its match against Chile 3-2 on penalties, I was wondering how the overtime is played.

Is that sudden death?

3 Answers 3


There is no sudden death in football, overtime (OT), or extra time (not to be confused with stoppage/additional time) as it's called in soccer context, is played in two halves 2 x 15 mins.

FIFA tried the sudden death concept several years back, it was called Golden Goal. The idea was that the first goal in the OT would be the tiebreaker. It got quite a bit negative critique and this was replaced with Silver Goal (see the same link above), which was a thought to be a decent compromise between a sudden death and regular OT.

Both the golden goal and silver goal were removed from the Laws of the Game eventually.

  • 2
    just adding to this answer; Silver goal is when you play one half of overtime and if the score is still tied, the second half will be played. If the score remains tied, the winner will be decided by penalty shoot outs.
    – alamoot
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 20:18
  • 1
    If you add to the answer that in football, it is called "extra time" and refer to it as such in the answer, I would be persuaded to upvote the question. Is is nitpicky, but using the correct term tends to reduce confusion between "extra time" (two periods played when a match is drawn after 90 minutes), and "additional time" (time added on to make up for extended stoppages"). Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 1:40
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    @Almo It's quite the contrary. Football (that's what we call it) lives from it's low scoring and the chance to react on a goal. You're calling it 'soccer' so I guess you're from the US and quite familiar with sports with a high scoring rate. But exactly this low scoring rate is it, what allows teams like Costa Rica to surprise the "big ones" (like Italy) with good tactics and defeat them. Or at least to annoy a bit.
    – Phab
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 7:10
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    I admit that I have not watched a lot of soccer. But I'm a game designer, so my outlook on it is not just that of an average spectator. If a game tends toward draws, you get problems in tournaments. It's why the Chess championship of the world is determined by a series of 7 games, many of which will be draws. It's one reason why Hockey, also a low-scoring game, uses sudden-death overtime, combined with 7-game series in its championship. The World Cup presents a unique challenge in design in that there are so many teams competing for the prize. But I think they have some work to do.
    – Almo
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 12:50
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    Football does not tend towards draws. Judging from the 2013/14 EPL table, (espnfc.com/barclays-premier-league/23/table?season=2013), 156/760 matches were drawn. This means a football match ends with a result ~80% of the time. There are much bigger problems with the rules of football at present than deciding a winner. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 0:23

No, this is not sudden death. Overtime is only played in the knockout stage (any match after group stage).

If the score is tied at the end of regulation, Overtime will be played. OT is 30 minutes, which is divided into two halves. At the end of OT if the score is still tied, teams move on to penalty shoot-outs. Notice that this means that in OT each team can score multiple goals!

The penalty shoot-outs work as the following: Each team has 5 tries and teams alternate their shots. A team wins if they score more goals than their opponent during these first 5 tries. Otherwise teams move on to sudden death, each getting one try at a time. If both teams score, or both miss in the try, they go for another round until a team scores while the other team fails to do so. The scoring team is the winner of the game.


"Overtime" is played after the 90 minute regulation time and this is 30 minutes long, split into 2 15 minute halves, if both teams are still drawing when this time is over, teams will then go to a penalty shoot out. the penalty shoot out works like this; both team take it in turns to take 5 penalties alternately each, and whoever has scored the most penalties wins, if both teams are still equal then sudden death penalties are taken. This is when both teams take it in turns to take a penalty, if the first team scores then the other team must score or they lose the game.

Hope this helped.

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