How Long Is A Soccer Match? Total Soccer Game Length

Andrew Kovacs

Long Is A Soccer Match

Ask around and you will hardly find someone who doesn’t know about Soccer. Almost 50% of people on Earth know about and enjoy Soccer, the remaining are toddlers 😀   

We know initially, about the soccer game length – 90 minutes with two halves. But how long does an entire match take to finish?

The basic 90 minutes is just for the regulations period. But with the stoppage and extra times, the game takes more than just one and a half hours. 

Today, we will go beyond and learn how long a soccer match takes to complete including all the breaks. 

Stay with us to reach the end of our article and know everything about Soccer game length. 

The Standard Duration: 90 Minutes

A regular soccer match has two halves, each 45 minutes long. There is one halftime interval between the halves and it lasts for 15 minutes. 

When combined, the two halves and the halftime interval amount to a total game duration of 105 minutes.

However, excluding the stoppage time and extra time (when needed), the regulation game lasts for 90-94 minutes.  

The Additional Time

A soccer play has one stoppage time between the two halves. Stoppage time is often referred to as injury time or added time, usually offered at the end of each half to compensate for stoppages in play. 

Stoppage time generally lasts for 10 to 15 minutes. The referee keeps track of the stoppages and determines the amount of added time that should be played to make up for the lost moments.

However, there is more to that! Multiple mini-stoppage periods can take place in the game due to players’ injuries, substitutions, delays, or other interruptions in the game. 

Usually, the fourth official on the sideline announces the stoppage time. He indicates the minutes to be added to the official 45-minute half. 

The official stoppage time accounts for the interruptions and confirms that the full period of play, as close to 45 minutes as possible, is completed.

A Tie Match 

When a soccer match ends with a tie, a series of events can take place depending on different leagues. 

The match is likely to draw for certain leagues and is over. In other leagues, they may directly get to the penalty kicks. Generally, in professional leagues including the FIFA World Cup, the draw match meets additional extra time periods. 

The extra time in Soccer is usually 30 minutes with a halftime interval after 15 minutes. Genuinely, the extra time in soccer is similar to any other regulation match.

Substitution of players or any other intervals apply the same they are to regulation matches. 

Penalty Shootouts 

Penalty Shootouts 

However, the match can still draw after an extra time. In the FIFA World Cup or other cup tournaments, a winner has to be determined. 

In such events, when the score remains level after extra time, a penalty shootout takes place to determine the winner. 

There is usually a series of five kicks in the penalty shootouts. The team who scores more or, 3 out of 5 goals while the other team lags behind, is the winner.

However, even rare but not impossible, if both teams are still at the same level even after the penalty kicks, the sudden death phase kicks in. 

Can we simply forget about the three times penalty shootouts in the Men’s World Cup? It happened in 1994, 2006, and 2022. 

Only two of the 35 shoot-outs in the competition reached the sudden death round after remaining deadlocked at the end of “best of five kicks.”

FIFA World Cup Soccer Time

The internationally telecasted football match usually focuses on one time, keeping viewers hooked to the match for long. 

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA’s referees committee, stated on the eve of the event that they hope to “offer more show” by including longer stoppage time than usual.

“During matches in Russia (at the 2014 World Cup), it became quite normal to have the fourth official showing the electronic board with seven, eight or nine minutes on it. The purpose is to offer more show to those who are watching the World Cup.”

Before the 2023 World Cup, the officials confirmed it! The amount of added time during the group stage has been substantially more than usual. It genuinely ends now with five minutes or more and has become the standard at the ends of both halves.

After the regulation match, we all know what happens next. Either a winner is determined or, the match goes to the extra round. 

The Longest Match in Soccer History 

No not talking about the World Cup finals, the longest football match in recorded history was played on March 30, 1946, at Edgeley Park between English clubs Stockport County and Doncaster Rovers. 

The match was remarkable three hours and twenty-three minutes and ended as the world record over half a century. 

When it comes to the history of the World Cup, the longest match recorded took 117 minutes to finish. The match was between England and Iran and had two stoppage times in the first half (14 min 08 sec) and in the second half (13 min 08 sec). 

Final Words

We are at the end of our article. While in other sports like baseball or basketball, the league-to-league difference in game length is prominent. 

But for soccer, the variation is almost not there. 

Don’t worry about the Soccer Game Length. The match will go on until we have a winner! We hope our guide helped you. 

Don’t forget to share our article with other football lovers and let them know about us. 

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Andrew Kovacs

I am a Head Boys Soccer Coach at Amherst Regional Public Schools in Massachusetts. I have coached for the past five years and I am currently working on my master's degree in Exercise Science. I coach soccer because I love the game and I enjoy being around the kids. It is rewarding to see them develop their skills and grow as individuals. LinkedIn