Can Soccer End in a Tie?

Can Soccer End in a Tie?

Can soccer end in a tie? Yes, soccer can end in a tie. The proper term for a “tie” is a “draw”.

In most circumstances, a soccer game can end in a tie. If the game reaches the end of regular play (plus additional time), and the score is even then it will conclude as a tie.

However, the result of a soccer match ultimately depends on the format of the competition. For example, a knockout tourney soccer game cannot end in a tie, and extra time and penalties are required to decide on a winner.

It’s important to note that ties in soccer are not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, they can be viewed as a measure of two very equal teams without luck measuring in the end result.

While some fans may prefer to see a clear winner, ties can be exciting and add to the drama of a game.

What is a Tie in Soccer?

In soccer, a tie refers to a match or game that ends with both teams having the same score.

This means that neither team wins or loses the game, and the final result is a draw.

A tie can occur in a soccer game that doesn’t need a clear winner. Tournaments (outside of pool play) often need a winner to advance so there would be no chance for a draw.

Overall, ties are a common occurrence in soccer and are a part of the game’s tradition and culture.

Why Can Soccer Games End in a Draw?

One of the unique aspects of soccer is that it can end in a tie. This is different from many other sports, where there is always a winner and a loser. Wouldn’t it be weird if basketball games could end in a tie? So, why does soccer allow ties?

One reason is that soccer is a game of endurance. It requires a lot of physical and mental energy to play for 90 minutes, and sometimes even longer.

Allowing ties as the end results gives players an opportunity to rest and recover, especially if they have played multiple games in a short period of time.

Another reason is that ties can be a fair result. In some cases, both teams may have played equally well, and neither team deserves to lose. In this case, allowing ties acknowledges that both teams have put in a good effort and avoids the need for a potentially unfair penalty shootout.

Lastly, ties can add to the excitement of the game. In a close match, a tie can create tension and anticipation as both teams try to score a winning goal.

It can also make the final standings of a tournament or league more interesting, as teams may be separated by just a few points.

How Many Points is a Tie?

When a soccer game ends in a tie, each team is awarded one point. This means that neither team wins (3 points) or loses (0 points) the game, but they still earn a point in the league standings.

While a tie may not be as satisfying as a win, it can still be a valuable result for a team. Oftentimes, teams are even or a point separated in the table which makes a point for a draw pretty significant.

Is a Tie a Good Result?

Advantages of a Tie

A tie can actually be seen as a good result for both teams, depending on the situation.

In some cases, a tie may be all a team needs to advance to the next round of a tournament or maintain their position in a league.

For example, in a knockout tournament, a tie in the group stage can be enough to secure a team’s place in the next round.

Similarly, in a standard league, a tie can earn a team one point, which can be crucial in their overall standing at the end of the season.

Disadvantages of a Tie

A tie can also be seen as a disappointing result for both teams, especially if they needed a win and 3 points.

Ties can sometimes lead to controversy or confusion, especially if there are tiebreakers involved to determine a winner.

How are Draws Resolved in Soccer?

Extra Time

In knockout competitions, such as tournaments, if the scores are even after 90 minutes, a period of extra time is played.

This period is typically split into two 15-minute halves and 30 total minutes.

Subsequently, if the game is still tied after extra time, the match goes to an exciting penalty shootout.

Penalty Shootouts

Penalty shootouts are used to determine a winner in knockout competitions if the scores are still level after extra time.

Each team takes turns to take five penalties each, and the team with the most goals at the end of the shootout wins the match.

If the scores are still even after the first five penalties, the shootout goes to sudden death, where each team takes turns to take one penalty each until there is a winner.

This can be a “cheap” way for a team to win the game and advance. But, there’s a clear stop in the match to determine the winner.

Whereas if it were a sudden death goal, then the game could go on for a very long time!


I hope this explanation of a tie in soccer helps. To answer the question…yes, soccer games can end in a tie.

A tie is actually called a “draw”. 

And, typically in tournaments, a draw is not an option as it doesn’t decide a winner to move on. In this case, the game will go into extra time then penalty shootouts as mentioned above.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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