Aggregate Score in Soccer: Definition, How It Works & When It’s Used

By Luís Miguel
Updated on

Soccer can get wildly confusing with all its terms and rules, especially for those used to other sports. Games can end in ties, and even a tied match can have a winner(?!). All thanks to aggregate scores. Fortunately, I’m here to explain the meaning of goal aggregate.

Aggregate score in soccer is the total number of goals for each team in a two-matches knockout bracket. If the result is uneven, the highest-scoring team wins. If the scoreline is even, the away rule applies, declaring the side with more away goals the winner.

There’s more to aggregate score in football (soccer). Keep on reading tounderstand how it works, when to use it, and see a few examples.

Aggregate Score in Soccer Definition

Some people refer to “aggregate score” as just “aggregate”, so let’s break down the term.

Used by itself and according to the dictionary, “aggregate” is a noun that means: conjunction, collection, sum, or total.

Example: “FA Cup semi-final’s second match between Liverpool and Manchester United ended in a draw, but Liverpool reached the final on aggregate.

When used before a noun, “aggregate” becomes an adjective meaning the same thing: sum, summation, or something formed by adding together several amounts.

Example: “Manchester United had an aggregate turnover of 580.4 Million euros during the 2019/20 season.”

So…

What Does “Aggregate Score” Mean in Soccer?

Now that we know what “aggregate” refers to, it gets easier to understand the whole term.

“Aggregate score” is the sum of the number of goals each team scored at the end of the second match (or extra time)* of a two-legged cup or knockout stage round.

It’s used in combination with the “Away Goals” rule to figure out the winner of a knockout bracket. Or understand if the game needs to go into extra time or penalty shootout.

* To be accurate, you can always calculate the aggregate score at the end of the first match or during the second match of a knockout bracket with two games.

Doing so can help you understand how many goals a team needs to score to overtake its opponent. In practice, it only matters when we need to declare the knockout bracket winner.

How Does Aggregate Score Work in Soccer?

To understand how the concept of aggregate score in soccer works, there are three elements of its definition that are worth noting:

  1. The total amount of goals.
  2. Knockout bracket.
  3. Two matches.

Amount of Goals

The total number of goals is the sum of the goals that Team A and Team B (which played twice against each other) scored in Match 1 and Match 2 (including overtime).

That’s the aggregate scoreline.

To determine the overall winner of the two matches, you use the Away Goals rule.

Two-legged Knockout Brackets

Match 1 and 2 are the two matches of a two-legged knockout bracket that has placed Team A and Team B facing one another.

There are no knockout brackets in championship-like competitions (like leagues where each team plays against all other teams twice over a season).

Knockout brackets in soccer only happen in a cup/knockout stage round.

They can be one-legged rounds (single match) or two-legged rounds (two matches; one at home and another away).

Both one-legged and two-legged rounds make use of the Aggregate Score concept.

But, again, to determine which team wins the knockout bracket between Team A and Team B, you need both the Aggregate Score and the Away Goals rule.

The Away Goals Rule

The Away Goals rule is a tie-breaking method used in soccer.

If the aggregate scoreline of a cup or knockout stage round between two teams is a tie, the Away Goals rule comes into action to determine the overall winner.

The team with the higher amount of away goals is declared the winner. It either advances to the next round or is crowned the champion, if there’s none left.

Guy wearing an SL Benfica jersey holding soccer ball over his head

Article by:

Luís Miguel

As a true soccer enthusiast, I’m Soccermodo’s team captain. My job is to make sure the site’s content is top-notch so that you, our reader, can focus solely on improving your game and reach new heights.