clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Explaining how extra time, penalty shootouts work in soccer ahead of 2023 women’s World Cup

We break down how extra time and penalty kicks work ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

Ireland v United States

The 2023 women’s World Cup begins on July 20 with the Group Stage. As we gear up for this event, it’s important to understand the rules that could make or break a team’s journey to the finals. Two key elements sometimes arise in tight matchups: extra time and penalty shootouts. Let’s take a closer look at how they work.

How Does Extra Time Work?

In the group stage of the tournament, games can finish as a draw. However, once we enter the knockout round, where one team must advance, a tie at the end of the standard 90 minutes of play isn’t enough. This is where extra time comes in.

Extra time adds an additional half-hour to the match, split into two 15-minute segments. This period is played out in full, regardless of any goals scored during it. The objective is to break the tie and determine a victor. But what happens when the teams are still tied after extra time?

How Do Penalty Shootouts Work?

If the game remains at a deadlock even after the 30 minutes of extra time, it’s time for a penalty shootout. This is where the true heroes are born and games can be decided in the blink of an eye.

In a penalty shootout, each team picks five players to step up and take a shot from the penalty spot, which is 12 yards from the goal line. Teams alternate turns and the shootout follows a best-of-five format. The team with the most successful goals after five shots each takes the victory, unless there’s a scenario where one team has an insurmountable lead before all shots are taken.

What if there’s still a tie after the initial five shots per side? We then enter a sudden-death scenario. New players are chosen to continue the shootout, and this cycle continues until one team scores and the other doesn’t.