Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Golden goal was a method used in football (soccer) to decide the result of games in elimination matches which end in a draw after the end of ordinary time (90 minutes). Its public origins can be traced to a letter published in the 'Times' newspaper in London, UK, on April 16, 1992. Two periods of fifteen-minute extra time are played. If any team scores a goal during extra-time, that team becomes the winner and the game ends at once. The winning goal is known as the Golden Goal.
If there are no goals after both extra time periods, a penalty shoot-out decides the game.
Even though this kind of arrangement is known as sudden death in some other games, and the term sudden death is only informally used when speaking about football; the only official term used was "golden goal". The term golden goal was introduced by FIFA along with the rule change because "sudden death" was perceived to have negative connotations. The Golden Goal was not compulsory, and individual competitions using extra time could choose whether or not to apply it during extra time.
The Golden Goal was first introduced in a major tournament during Euro 96. The final of that tournament (between Germany and the Czech Republic) was the first match to be decided by such a goal. The final of the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in 2002 was also decided on a golden goal, with the USA defeating the host Canadians .
The Golden Goal rule was introduced to stimulate offensive flair and to effectively reduce the number of penalty shoot-outs. However, it was widely thought that this ruling backfired as more teams decided to play defensive football to safeguard a loss - the only notable exception being the match between England and Germany in Euro 96. It was also thought to put excessive pressure on the referee.
In the 2002 season UEFA introduced a new rule, the so-called silver goal, to decide a competitive match. In extra time a team leading after the first fifteen minute period, or after the second fifteen minute period, would win, but the game would no longer stop the instant a team scored. Competitions that operated extra time would be able to decide whether to use the Golden Goal, the Silver Goal, or neither procedure during extra time.
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