With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar now truly underway, we are fast approaching the end of the group stage and with that, the knockouts begin. Join us for a look at what happens in the event of a tied game, whether it’s in the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semi-finals, or the final itself.
Qatar has given us a show to remember
Despite the immense amount of critique and chatter ahead of this World Cup, if we just focus on the thing at the center of it all for a moment i.e., the game itself, it won’t take long to realize that Qatar has given us a feast of football. From stunning upsets, to the emergence of new talents, we’ve been blessed with a great tournament so far. Now, as we prepare to conclude the group stage, the Round of 16 bracket has begun to take shape and with that, comes the looming possibility of instant elimination. Indeed, this is where teams really start to get down to business, as they battle for the title of world champion. Of course, at this stage, there are no longer points accumulated, but simply the clear idea that you’ve got to win to advance. So, what happens at the end of a match, if the score is still tied?
Is there extra time in the 2022 World Cup and is so, how does it work?
For starters, yes there is extra time played in the FIFA World Cup should two teams be locked together when the final whistle blows. To be clear, this has essentially always been the case across the history of the tournament. For the purpose of clarity, when a knockout match finishes with a tied score, two extra periods of 15-minutes each are played. Should the teams still be level when their extra 30-minutes has ended, they will then go to a penalty shootout in order to determine a winner. This is the case for all knockout matches from the Round of 16 forward i.e., that also includes the quarter finals, the semi-finals and the finals too.
Golden goal or a penalty shootout in case of a tie in the 2022 World Cup?
Introduced back in 1996, the ‘golden goal’ rule was one by which the team that scored first during extra time – following a tied game – would automatically be declared the winner. Needless to say, it was a rule that caused a great deal of controversy at the time. If you’re wondering whether or not such a rule still applies in the FIFA World Cup, then the answer is no. The penalty shoot-out is what is used as the final means to determining a winner. Not sure how it works? Then let’s get into it. Firstly, the referee will flip a coin to determine which team will shoot first and then the teams prepare for their date with destiny. In case you didn’t know, both teams are granted five spot kicks and are allowed to take them in an alternating order. After all five kicks have been taken by both teams, the side with the most goals wins.
If, however, the teams are again still tied due to missed/saved penalties, or both teams having scored all, then we go to ‘sudden death.’ At that point, the teams continue alternate spot kicks and the first team to go ahead via the scoring of their own penalty, after the opponent has missed or been saved, is the team that wins. It’s worth noting that there is no limit as to how long that process can go on. That’s to say, the shootout continues until one team falls. As for how it is performed, only the penalty taker and opposing goalkeeper are allowed in the box along with the referee. Last but not least, there are no criteria based on position, with regards to who can take a penalty. Indeed, we’ve seen goalkeepers in the past, take and score penalties – see above. Ultimately, the dreaded lottery of the penalty shootout is never easy, but it’s a part of the game that brings with it the kind of high drama, that makes us love the ‘beautiful game’ even more.