Tie games are inevitable at the World Cup, especially in the later stages when the stakes rise and the sinews stretch.
But in the knockout stages, every game must produce a winner. That means if a game is tied after 90 minutes, it will go to extra time. Here’s how it works.
After a short break, the teams will play two 15-minute extra periods, including any minutes of added time the officials deem necessary. There is no sudden death: Both periods are played to their conclusion, regardless of how many goals are scored (or not).
If the teams are still tied after extra time, they go to a penalty kick shootout.
In that, a coin flip decides which side goes first. The teams then pick five penalty takers, and they alternate attempts until a winner is determined. That can take as few as three rounds of attempts — if, for example one team converts its first three and its opponent misses all three — or as many as … well … as many as it takes.
That can sometimes take a while, and the longer it goes, the more fun it gets.
Except for the people involved.