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The golden goal is a method used to decide the winner of games in elimination matches which end in a draw after the end of regulation time. Golden goal rules allow the team that scores the first goal during extra time to be declared the winner. The game finishes when a golden goal is scored. The golden goal is no longer used in FIFAmarker authorised games, other than the FIFA Beach World Cup. The golden goal is used by NCAA soccer games and by FIH sanctioned field hockey matches. A related concept is used in National Rugby League games.


The first recorded use of the golden goal rule was during the final of the Cromwell Cup, the world's second ever football competition, at Bramall Lanemarker, Sheffieldmarker in 1868, although the term golden goal was never used. The deciding goal was scored by a newly formed team called The Wednesday, now known as Sheffield Wednesday. Its public origins can be traced to a letter published in the Times newspaper in Londonmarker on 16 April 1992 .

Use in association football

The term golden goal was introduced by FIFAmarker in 1993 along with the rule change because the alternative term, "sudden death", was perceived to have negative connotations. The golden goal was not compulsory, and individual competitions using extra time could choose whether to apply it during extra time. The first European Football Championship played with the rule was in 1996; the first World Cup played with the rule was in 1998.The first golden goal recorded was in March 1993 by Australia against Uruguay in a quarter-final match at the FIFA World Youth Championships. Huddersfield Town's Iain Dunn became the first British player to settle a match in this way - his 107th-minute goal beat Lincoln City 3-2 in the AWS on 30 November 1994. The first major tournament final to be decided by such a goal was the 1996 European Football Championship, won by Germany over the Czech Republic. The golden goal in this final was scored by Oliver Bierhoff.Other major international tournament finals decided by a golden goal include: The first golden goal in World Cup history took place in 1998, as Laurent Blanc scored to enable France to defeat Paraguay in the Round of 16. In 2002, three games were decided by a golden goal - Senegal over Sweden and Korea over Italy in the last 16, and Turkey over Senegal in the quarter-final.

The golden goal rule was introduced to stimulate offensive flair and to effectively reduce the number of penalty shootouts. However, it was widely thought that golden goal rules encouraged teams to play more defensively to safeguard against a loss. Teams often placed more emphasis on not conceding a goal rather than scoring a goal, and many Golden Goal extra time periods remained scoreless.

In the 2002 season UEFA introduced a new rule, the silver goal, to decide a competitive match. In extra time the team leading after the first fifteen minute half would win, but the game would no longer stop the instant a team scored. Competitions that operated extra time would be able to decide whether to use the golden goal, the silver goal, or neither procedure during extra time.



Two halves of fifteen-minute extra time are played. If any team scores a goal during extra time, that team becomes the winner and the game ends at once. The winning goal is known as the "golden goal." If there are no goals after both periods of extra time, a penalty shootout decides the game. If the teams are still tied after a penalty shootout then the game goes to sudden-death penalties, where each team takes one penalty each, until only one team scores, resulting in that team winning the game.

Field hockey

International field hockey tournaments such as the Hockey World Cup, Champions Trophy and Summer Olympics tournament use golden goals to decide the winners of elimination matches. During these matches, golden goal extra time of 7½ minutes per half is played and if no golden goals are scored after both periods of extra time, a penalty stroke competition decides the game.

Abolition in football

In February 2004, after widespread complaints about the impact of the rule from fans , the IFAB bowed to pressure and announced that after Euro 2004 in Portugalmarker, both the golden goal and silver goal methods would be removed from the Laws of the Game. The 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germanymarker did not employ the golden goal in the event of a tied match during the knockout stage, but reverted to the previous rules: In the event of a tied game after the original 90 minutes, two 15-minute halves of extra time were played. Then, if a tie remained after the 30 minutes of extra time, the winner was decided by a penalty shootout.

See also


  1. 2006 World Cup drops golden goal
  2. FIFA Rules

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