Champions League Away Goal Rule Explained In Detail

Champions League Away Goal Rule

Imagine two teams played out draws in first and second leg champions league, how will a winner be decided, that is where the away goal rule comes in.

You’re getting the drift? The team with more goals away from home is the winner, that is where the total goals scored by each team are otherwise equal.

Let me buttress why there is an away goal rule.

This rule was first introduced by UEFA in the 1965–66 European Cup Winners’ Cup to provide a winner in ties that end level by assigning greater value to goals scored by visiting sides.

What happens in many competitions is that the away goals rule is used as the first tie-breaker, and then a penalty shootout is applied where each team has scored the same number of away goals.

Now, here is where some variations occur, i.e. whether the away goals rule applies only to the end of normal time of the second leg, or applies in extra time as well. The organizers are most times left with this discretion.

Let me paint some scenarios for you. Pay attention closely so you don’t lose track of what happens if aggregate is tied in Champions League from my examples below.

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Example I

In the first leg, the final score is: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

In the second leg, the final score is: Team A (Away) 0–1 Team B (Home).

In this example, the aggregate score is 1–1, but as neither team scored an away goal, the match will progress to the next tie-breaker, extra time.

Example II

In the first leg, the final score is: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

In the second leg, the final score is: Team A (Away) 1–2 Team B (Home).

In this example, the aggregate score is 2–2. However, because Team A scored an away goal in the second leg while Team B, in the first leg, did not, Team A will progress to the next stage of the competition as they won against Team B, 1–0, on away goals.

Example III

In the first leg, the final score is: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

In the second leg, the final score goes as follows:

First leg: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

Second leg, after 90 minutes: Team A (Away) 0–1 Team B (Home).

Second leg, after extra time: Team A (Away) 1–2 Team B (Home).

In this example, the aggregate score is 1–1 after 90 minutes and 2–2 after extra time. However, since this rule does not apply after extra time, the match proceeds to penalty shootout.

Example IV

In the first leg, the final score is: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

In the second leg, the final score goes as follows:

First leg: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

Second leg, after 90 minutes: Team A (Away) 0–1 Team B (Home).

Second leg, after extra time: Team A (Away) 1–2 Team B (Home).

In this example, the aggregate score is 1–1 after 90 minutes and 2–2 after extra time. However, because Team A scored an away goal in the second leg, in extra time, while Team B, in the first leg, did not, Team A will progress to the next stage of the competition as they won against Team B, 1–0, on away goals.

Example V

In the first leg, the final score is: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

In the second leg, the final score goes as follows:

First leg: Team A (Home) 1–0 Team B (Away).

Second leg, after 90 minutes: Team A (Away) 0–1 Team B (Home).

Second leg, after extra time: Team A (Away) 0–1 Team B (Home).

In this example, the aggregate score is 1–1, but as neither team scored an away goal, the match will progress to the next tie-breaker, extra time and since no goals are scored there, the match will progress to penalty shootout.

Did I make any sense to you? I’m sure I did, if not, I want you to stop, go back and reread the examples.

So do Champions League away goals count as two?

Only where both teams score the same number of goals during extra time, away goals count double (i.e. the visiting team qualifies).

But if the away team is able to find the back of the net in extra time, away goals kick in and the home side must score twice to progress.

Penalties come in only if there are no goals in extra time.

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Should Champions League Away Goal Rule be scrapped?

This is simply a matter of opinion. As I write currently in 2020, the Champions League away goal rule still stands.

Some think it is not as important as it used to be and is not justifiable anymore.

Many critics have said it is both illogical and counterproductive to persist with away goals as a tie-breaker, adding that its usefulness has long since expired.

Meanwhile, there are those want the Champions League away goal rule to continue.

Although there has been talks with coaches regarding the rule as far back as September 2018 and UEFA is said to be reviewing things, with Kicker reporting that the European governing body will soon scrap it.

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You can easily use this away goal rule calculator for any fixture to get the goal aggregate and possible eventual winner.

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