2 legged matches are very common in soccer. They take place under many different scenarios. If you’re wondering what 2 legged matches are in soccer, then you’ve come to the right place.
2 legged matches are 2 soccer matches held between the exact same 2 soccer teams. Each match is called a leg. The aggregate sum of the goals scored in these 2 matches determines the winner between the competing teams. In case of a tie, the team who scored more on the opponent’s field wins.
How do 2-legged matches work in soccer?
Let’s say that teams A and B are facing each other in a two-legged soccer match. This means that the teams have to play 2 soccer games against each other.
Usually these 2 games occur within a few days (sometimes few weeks) from each other. One of the games takes place on team A’s soccer field while the other takes place on team B’s soccer field.
These 2 matches are exactly the same as any other professional soccer match. The only difference is that the result is determined by the overall performance in both matches.
How is the winner of a 2-legged soccer match determined?
The process of determining the winner of the 2 matches is very simple. After both matches are played. You sum the number of goals each team scored during both matches. The team who scored more goals is the winner.
So, let’s say that team A won the first game with a result of 2-0. And team B won the second match with a result of 1-0. Then the sum of the 2 matches become 2-1 and A wins the 2-legged match.
But what if both teams have scored the exact same number of goals during both matches?
If the sum of the goals from both matches is a tie, then ‘the away goals rule’ kicks in.
The away goals rule states that the team who scored more goals on the opponent’s field is the winner of the match.
Here’s an example where the away goal rule is in action:
Let’s assume that the first game is on team A’s soccer field. Let’s also assume that the match result was 3-1 and team A won.
If the second game, which is on team B’s soccer field, ends with a result of 2-0 for team B. Then the aggregate sum of the 2 games will be 3-3 which is a tie.
In this case, team B is announced as the winner because they scored 1 goal against team A on team A’s field while team A didn’t score any goals on team B’s field.
But what if the aggregate sum of both games is a tie and both teams have scored equal amounts of goals on each other’s soccer fields?
If that’s the case, then the teams will have to play extra time and maybe penalty kicks if none managed to win during the extra time. You can find more details on extra time in this article.
When do 2-legged matches occur in soccer?
2-legged soccer matches usually take place in competitions between soccer clubs that contain “knockout stages”.
Knockout stages in soccer contain matches where the loser gets knocked out of the competition.
A great example can be the Champions league. If 2 teams are competing against each other in the Knockout stage of the champions league, then they will have to play a 2-legged match against each other.
The team who wins the 2-legged match advances to the next stage of the competition. All matches in the knockout stage of the champions league are 2-legged, except the final match.
Why not just a single match to determine the winner?
You might think that 2-legged matches make no sense and they aren’t needed at all. If soccer rules makers want only one of the competing teams to advance to the next stage, then why don’t they just make them play one match instead of two?
A simple answer to this question is this: It’s fair to make two matches between the teams instead of one.
Remember, each of the teams have their own stadium. Usually a team has an advantage over their opponent when they are playing in their own stadium because they will have the fans on their side.
To avoid any problems when it comes to picking on which field should the game be played, why not play 2 games instead of 1? Playing 2 games will give each of the teams a chance to play on their own field and among their own fans.
You might claim that instead of playing 2 games, the teams can play 1 game and the game takes place on non of the team’s soccer fields(i.e. on a neutral ground)
But again, This doesn’t work all the time. Soccer clubs make money when a game is played on their own field. They’ll make a lot of money selling game tickets. With that said, each of the teams should get their chance to sell tickets to their games. Thus it’s important that soccer teams play soccer matches in their own soccer stadiums.
Here’s a summary of what you have just read:
A 2-legged soccer contest is a competition between 2 soccer teams. These soccer teams will have to play 2 games against each other called legs. The aggregate sum of the results of these 2 games determine the winner of the competition.