How long are soccer games?

  • All soccer matches are split into two halves
  • The clock continuously runs in soccer games
  • Stoppage time is added for any prolonged stoppages of play
Here's how long soccer games are.
Here's how long soccer games are. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike football, baseball, or basketball games, soccer games are typically all the same length thanks to a continuous game clock.

Sometimes, sitting down to watch an entire sporting event requires hours of your attention. It can be tough to block out enough time in your busy day to catch a game from start to finish, especially if you live in a different time zone than where the game occurs. Fortunately, soccer matches are easy to schedule your day or night around because they are a consistent length, no matter what team, league, or competition you watch.

As all the most exciting title races and international competitions heat up, fans only have to carve out less than two hours of their day to catch a match's exciting action.

United States defeats Mexico in 90 minutes.
United States defeats Mexico in 90 minutes. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How long are soccer games?

A soccer game is 90 minutes long. Games are separated into two halves, each 45 minutes long. Unlike other sports, the clock in a soccer match does not stop, even when there are fouls, substitutions, or injuries.

To account for all the time lost to stoppages of play, the referees add on an appropriate amount of "stoppage time" at the end of each half. Unless there is a severe injury or a lengthy goal celebration, stoppage time typically ranges from one to three minutes long. In extreme circumstances, sometimes stoppage time can be as long as 10 additional minutes.

Therefore, most soccer games actually last longer than the allotted 90 minutes. The game does not end until the referee blows the final whistle.

How long is extra time in soccer games?

Extra time in soccer games is 30 minutes long, split into two 15-minute halves. Extra time will only occur in a knockout match where there must be a winner. If two teams are level after 90 minutes, they will then play extra time to see if either side can break the tie.

If the score is still level after extra time, then the clock stops altogether and both teams participate in a penalty shootout to decide the winner.