What is Aggregate in Soccer?

What is Aggregate in Soccer?

Have you heard of the word “aggregate” thrown around in soccer? In simple terms, aggregate refers to the total score of a two-legged match in soccer.

What is Aggregate in Soccer

In a two-legged match, also known as a home-and-away match, two teams play against each other on two separate occasions, one at each team’s home ground. The winner is determined by adding up the scores from both matches. This total score is known as the aggregate score.

Aggregate is commonly used in knockout competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. It is also used in some domestic cup competitions and international tournaments.

Understanding the concept of aggregate is important for fans in order to follow and analyze the outcomes of these matches. With that said, let’s jump into the topic.

Aggregate Calculation

To calculate aggregate, you simply add up the scores from both games.

For example, if Arsenal wins the first game 2-1 and loses the second game 3-1, the aggregate score would be 4-3 in favor of the other team.

If the aggregate score is tied after both games, the team with the most away goals is declared the winner.

On rare occasions, if the away goals are tied, the game may go into extra time and penalty kicks.

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Examples of Aggregate Scores

Let’s say Man City and Man U are playing a two-legged match in the quarterfinals of a tournament.

In the first game, Man City wins 2-1 on their home field. In the second game, Man U wins 3-2 on their home field. To calculate the aggregate score, you simply add up the scores from both games: 4-4. However, since Man U scored more away goals in the second game, they would be declared the winner and advance to the next round.

In another example, let’s say Leeds and Newcastle are playing a two-legged match in the semifinals of a tournament.

In the first game, Leeds wins 1-0 on their home field. In the second game, they draw 2-2 on Newcastle’s home field. The aggregate score is 3-2 in favor of Leeds. Since they scored more goals overall, Leeds would be declared the winner and advance to the finals.

Advantages of Aggregate Scoring

Here are some advantages of using aggregate scoring:

Promotes Consistency

Aggregate scoring helps to promote consistency in soccer matches. By taking the total number of goals scored over two matches, the impact of any single lucky goal or mistake is significantly reduced.

This means that teams cannot simply rely on a single moment of brilliance or luck to win a match, but instead must perform consistently over two matches to come out on top.

Encourages Attacking Play

Aggregate scoring encourages attacking play from both teams. Since the total number of goals scored over two matches is what counts, teams are incentivized to score as many goals as possible in each match.

This often leads to more exciting and open matches, with both teams looking to score goals rather than simply trying to avoid conceding them.

As a byproduct, the games typically are the most exciting to watch as fans.

Reduces Impact of Individual Mistakes

In a single match, a single mistake by a defender or goalkeeper can result in a goal that decides the match. However, with aggregate scoring, a single mistake is less likely to decide the outcome of the match, as the total number of goals scored over two matches is what counts.

Disadvantages of Aggregate Scoring

Can Lead to Defensive Play

When using aggregate scoring, teams may become overly defensive in the second leg of the match. The team that scored more goals in the first leg may be content with their lead and play defensively in the second leg. This can lead to a lack of competitiveness and can result in a less exciting game.

Can Result in Unfair Outcomes

Aggregate scoring can also lead to unfair outcomes. For example, if a team wins the first leg 3-0 and loses the second leg 1-0, they would still advance to the next round, even though each team won a game. This can be frustrating for the team that didn’t advance and can make the tournament seem unfair.

Another disadvantage is that aggregate scoring can make it difficult for teams to come back from a large deficit. For example, if a team loses the first leg 4-0, they would need to score at least five goals in the second leg to advance. This can be demoralizing for the team and can make the game seem less competitive.


Now that you have a better understanding of what aggregate means in soccer, you can appreciate the significance of it in tournament play.

It is important to remember that the aggregate score is the total number of goals scored by each team over two legs of a match. This score is used to determine the winner of the match, and it can also be used to determine the winner of a tournament.

Aggregate scores can be confusing, especially for those who are new to soccer. However, they are an important part of the game and can add to the excitement of tournament play.

So, the next time you turn on a match and the aggregate score is determining the outcome, watch the strategies behind games one and two. It makes you appreciate soccer that much more!

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 soccernovo.com 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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