Duration and tie-breaking methods
A standard adult soccer game consists of two 45 minutes halves. Each half runs continuously, the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is usually a 15-minute half-time break between halves. The end of the game is known as full-time. The referee is the official timekeeper for the match, and may make an allowance for time lost through substitutions, injured players requiring attention, or other stoppages, this added time is most commonly referred to as stoppage time or injury time. The duration of stoppage time is at the sole discretion of the referee. The referee alone signals the end of the match. In matches where a fourth official is appointed, toward the end of the half the referee signals how many minutes of stoppage time he intends to add and the fourth official then informs the players and spectators by holding up a board showing the number of added minutes. The game cannot end with a penalty that needs to be taken, time will be extended in this situation as needed.
In league competitions, games may end in a draw/tie. In knockout competitions where a winner is required various methods may be employed to break a tie. A game tied at the end of regulation time may go into extra time, which consists of two additional 15-minute periods. If the score is still tied after extra time, some competitions allow the use of penalty shootouts (known officially in the Laws of the Game as “kicks from the penalty mark”) to determine which team will move on to the next stage of the tournament. Goals scored during extra time periods count toward the final score of the game, but kicks from the penalty mark are only used to decide the team that progresses to the next part of the tournament (with goals scored in a penalty shootout not making up part of the final score).
In competitions using two-legged matches, each team competes at home once, with an aggregate score from the two matches deciding which team progresses. Where aggregates are equal, the away goals rule may be used to determine the winners, in which case the winner is the team that scored the most goals in the leg they played away from home. If the result is still equal, extra time and potentially a penalty shootout are required.