How does the away goals rule apply in soccer?

There’s probably no one who regularly follows football who doesn’t know about the away goals rule, right? However, to know clearly how to apply and which matches are allowed to use, many people may not know this issue. Then read the content below immediately, New88 has compiled all the important data to help you understand this issue better.
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Concept of away goals rule

Translated into English as Away goals rule, one of the forms to determine the outcome of a match when it is played with first and second legs. Debuted for the first time in Europe’s biggest club tournament, C1 Cup in 1965/66 in the confrontation between Budapest Honved and Dukla Prague. Then, realizing the effectiveness it brought, FIFA applied it more commonly.

Especially in major football tournaments such as: away goals rule C1 – UEFA Champions League, Europa League, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, AFC Champions League, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, AFC Cup, CAF Champions League, the semi-finals of the English Federation Cup, the CAF Confederation Cup…

How to use the away goals rule?

Similar to its name for matches register Organized in the form of first and second legs, each team will play at their home stadium once. In order to quickly determine the result of that match and not have to play extra time or a penalty shootout, the away goals rule will solve this problem.

The 2 opponents will meet each other in 2 matches. In case the total number of goals in the 2 matches is equal, the team that scores more goals at the opponent’s field can win. In theory this is quite reasonable, however many regions and teams around the world feel that this law is quite inadequate and has many limitations.

However, it will resolve the match result quickly without wasting additional energy or rest time for the players. For example: team A wins team B at their home field with a score of 1 – 0, in the second leg team A loses to team B with a score of 2 – 1. Even though the total number of goals in both matches is 3 – 3, however according to the away goals rule, the victory will belong to team B.

The inadequacies caused by the away goals rule

As mentioned above, this law causes a lot of frustration for participating football teams. Specifically, the shortcomings they proposed related to the following issues:

Favorable to the home team

Maybe using the away goal condition as the basis for winning kicks gives the home team a lot of advantages to play first. Especially the issue of psychology as well as fairness in competition, the team playing at home will be weighed down psychologically if the opponent leads by many goals.

Not fair on the home field

In fact, not all teams’ home stadiums have good playing conditions. The facilities at each stadium will be different, which greatly affects the capabilities of each team. Therefore, it makes away goals have quite large values, affecting the final result.
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Reduce drama

One of the reasons why the away goals rule is condemned by many spectators as well as the team. The drama of confrontations is significantly reduced because the team that has home field advantage first will proactively play defense. This makes the attractiveness of a football match greatly reduced. Playing it safe like that will make the match boring and lacking excitement.

Lack of consistency

If you are someone who follows football, you may see that this form of rule is only applied in some tournaments. Not all football playgrounds in the world apply this type of rule, so there will be a lack of consistency. It will be more difficult for us to compare the quality of tournaments with each other. In addition, the strength of each team will also be overshadowed by the away goals rule, especially in extra time and penalty shootouts.

Does not reflect the correct results

In fact, many goals come from luck that teams have scored. Just like that and the away goal rule is better than a weaker team can advance to the next round. It’s not fair to teams that play better than their opponents.


There are still many problems with the away goals rule at the present time, even though it has been around for quite a long time in football. Many teams and clubs have submitted a petition to FIFA to abolish this type of rule during competitions. We will wait for a decision from the federation in the near future.

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