How Many Points Is a Goal Worth in Soccer?

Fans of others sports often complain about the low scores in soccer games. While some sports, like basketball, actually have a lot of scoring, others simply allocate many points for one action. 

That brings us to the question, how much is a goal worth in soccer?

In this article, we dive deeper into points and goals by discussing:

  • How to score points in a soccer game
  • Individual player points
  • Details about what counts as a goal

Read on to learn all about how much a goal is worth in soccer!

man scoring a goal in pickup soccer game

How Many Points Do You Get Per Goal in Soccer?

When you score a goal in soccer, your team receives one point in the game. This is the only way to score points for your team in soccer. 

However, players also receive individual points for their season rankings. While individual points don’t impact team play, they are used to rank players and often to assign awards. For scoring a goal, a player receives two individual points. 

What Counts as a Goal in Soccer?

When the entire ball crosses the goal line (within the frame of the goal) it is considered a goal. Of course, if the attacking team commits a fault (including offside) then a foul may be called instead of a goal. 

It does not matter who puts the ball across the goal line most of the time. If a defender accidentally hits the ball into his own goal, it’s considered an “own goal” and the point goes to the other team. However, if the goalkeeper throws the ball into the opponent’s goal without anyone else touching it, then a goal kick is awarded instead

How Do You Score 2 Points in Soccer?

Many soccer games end with a team scoring 2 (or even more) points. Given that a goal is worth one point, how can you score 2 points in soccer?

The only way to score more than 1 point in soccer is to score more goals. So, to score 2 points in soccer you must score two goals. 

Is a Goal Worth 2 Points in Soccer?

A goal is worth one point for the team in soccer. We’ll dive into individual points shortly, but a goal is worth two points for the individual player. 

penalty kick shootout in soccer

Soccer Penalties

Are Penalty Kicks Worth More Points?

No, penalty kicks are not worth more points. A penalty kick is still worth one point in the game and two points for the individual. 

How Many Penalties Are Usually Taken in a Penalty Shoot-Out?

Penalty shoot-outs start with five shots per team. While each team is allotted five penalties in the shoot-out, the actual number of penalties taken may be more or less. 

There will be more than five penalties taken per team if the score is still tied after five. In that case, the teams continue to shoot until one team makes their chance and the other team misses. 

In some cases, each team will take less than five penalties. This happens when the winner is decided already. For example, if team A makes all of their first three and team B misses all of their first three, Team A will win no matter what happens with the last two chances. In this case, the shoot-out would end after each team took three penalties. 

What Happens If No One Wins on Penalties?

If nobody wins in penalties, then the penalty shoot-out continues. 

To begin with, each team selects five shooters. If the score is still tied after each team took five penalties, then they select the next five shooters. The shootout continues until one team makes their penalty and the other team misses. 

In the rare chance that the score was still tied after everyone shot, the rotation would start over with the first shooter. 

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest penalty shoot-out was in 200five during the Namibia cup. It included a total of 48 penalty kicks and took as long as the entire game!

How Many Points Is a Free Kick Worth in Soccer?

Unless a free kick results in a goal, it is not worth any points in soccer. 

Simply earning a free kick will not provide your team with any points. However, free kicks are still beneficial and highly sought-after because they provide your team with an advantage. 

If a free kick is in your attacking third, it is a very valuable set-piece that your team can convert into a goal. This is why teams dedicate so much time to perfecting their free-kick strategies. 

As of June 2021, Lionel Messi scored his 57th free-kick goal, putting him in first place for the most free-kick goals of an active player. 

Soccer score on grass 0 3

How Are Soccer Points Calculated?

Within a game, points are calculated based on the number of goals scored. Each goal is worth one point for the team. Therefore, if a team scored one goal in the game, they earned one point. 

At the end of the game, the team with the most goals wins. 

The result of the game matters for overall team points and league standing. Points are awarded as follows:

  • 3 for a win
  • 1 for a tie
  • 0 for a loss

After each game, points are added to the team’s total. The total number of points determines which place in the league the team is in. 

For example, let’s look at the top 6 teams in the English Premier League right now.

TeamWinsDrawsLossesPoints
Man City 235374
Liverpool227273
Chelsea188462
Tottenham1831057
Arsenal 1731054
West Ham1561151
Current EPL League Standings (18/04/22)

How Do Soccer Players Score Points?

The only way for a soccer team to score points is with goals. However, individual players can also obtain “points”. 

When you look at league stats, you may see that attacking players are ranked based on “points.” Player points represent the number of goals and assists the player scores. 

Players receive two points for scoring a goal and one point for an assist. As a reminder, an assist means that the player provided the last pass before their teammate scored the goal. If you pass the ball to a forward and they score a goal, you earn an assist. 

Individual Points Soccer

Soccer leagues also keep track of stats for individual players. Many leagues track the number of goals and assists for players, while some will also track more advanced stats. 

For example, here are some of the stats that the English Premier League tracks:

  • Appearances
  • Goal
  • Assists
  • Clean sheets
  • Tackles/ tackle %
  • Blocked Shots
  • Clearances
  • Duels won and lost
  • Passes
  • Passes per match 
  • Crosses and cross accuracy

Check out Virgil Van Dijk’s EPL player profile for a better view of these individual stats!

Many professional leagues track these stats rather than player points, but in American college soccer, players earn points for goals and assists. 

When it comes to individual stats, players earn two points for each goal and one point for each assist. 

Goals are worth two points and assists are worth one point. In NCAA Division I men’s soccer, the record for most points in a single game is 18 tallied by Marty Ryczek of Stetson. Ryczek had eighth goals (16 points) and two assists (two points) in a match against Southeastern Bible back in 1974.

Marquette University

You can see on the Big Ten Women’s soccer page that they tracked the number of individual stats for each player as well as the total points. Total points may be used for player rankings and in consideration for post-season awards. 

soccer goal celebration

What Happens After a Goal Is Scored in Soccer?

Given that there’s an average of only 2.6 goals scored per soccer game, scoring a goal is a huge event. Even though a goal is only worth one point in the game, a single goal can decide the winner of the game. 

Therefore, a lot happens after a goal is scored. 

Technically, there is not an official sign for a goal being scored. Oftentimes, the referee will point at the center circle with his arm pointed down and blow the whistle. 

Then, the scoring team will celebrate. The celebration can vary immensely depending on the player who scored, how the goal was scored, and the environment of the game. 

The goal celebration often includes the team on the field, on the bench, the coaches, and the fans. Fans will cheer for the goal and potentially erupt in song or chant. Additionally, home teams will often play a song throughout the stadium. 

On the other hand, the team that conceded the goal has a different reaction. They may reflect on what happened, regroup with each other, and even argue with the referee if they believe a fault was committed. 

Finally, a restart happens. The ball is placed on the center dot in the center circle. The team who conceded the goal gets the ball for the kickoff. The referee blows the whistle to signal the restart, and the game continues. 

Catch a glimpse into what happens after a goal is scored in this compilation of the top goal celebrations:

Why Score Goals

In soccer, there is only one way to earn points in a game and that is to score a goal. Unlike many other sports, a goal is only worth a single point in the game. Simply put, the team that scores the most goals in a game will win the game. 

Soccer leagues also keep track of how many goals and assists each player has. When it comes to college soccer individual points, a goal is worth two and an assist is worth one. 

Now that you fully understand how much a goal is worth in soccer, you can celebrate that much more when your favorite team nets one!

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Soccer Rules FAQ

How long is a soccer game?

Soccer games include two 45 minute halves, which is 90 minutes of play. Those who have ever watched a game know that, like many sports, real-time is longer than the match time.
In real-time, the length of a soccer game varies immensely. At the bare minimum, it will be 90 minutes of play + 15 minutes of halftime for a total of 105 minutes.

What is offside in soccer?

The offside rule in soccer is to stop player ‘goal hanging’ – standing near the opposition goal. This also stops soccer from being a long ball game, balls hit from one goal to another.

What are yellow card offenses?

+ Charging an opponent – caution if reckless.
+ Holding an opponent – When the ball is in play and the holding continues.
+ Handling the Ball – When a player handles the ball to break up attacking play. If an attacker + uses their hand to attempt to score a goal.
+ Dangerous play – If a player makes an action that can risk an injury to another player.
+ Impeding the progress of an opponent – If a player holds another player back or blocks a player on purpose, that prevents an attack.
+ Breaking up an attack - where there is the possibility of creating a scoring chance.
+ Simulation - where a player tries to con a referee into thinking that they are injured in order to punish the opponent. If a player tries to make out that they have been fouled.

What are the red card offenses?

+ Serious foul play
+ Violent conduct
+ Spitting at a person
+ Deliberate handball – denying a goal-scoring opportunity
+ Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity
+ Offensive, aggressive, abusive language or gesture
+ Receiving a second caution

Soccer field size, size of goal, number of players and minutes played per age;

+ u17-u19 - Halves 2 x 45 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-100 by 100-130 yards
+ u15-u16 - Halves 2 x 40 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50- 100 by 100-130 yards
+ u13-u14 - Halves 2 x 35 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-10 by 100-130 yards
+ u11-u12 - Halves 2 x 30 minutes - Number of players 9 vs 9 - Goal Size 7 x 21 - Field size 45-70 by 70-80 yards
+ u9-u10 - Halves 2 x 25 minutes - Number of players 7 vs 7 - Goal Size 6 x 18.5 - Field size 35-45 by 55-65 yards
+ u6-u8 - Quarters 4 x 10 minutes - Number of players 4 vs 4 - 4 x 6 Goal Size - Field size 15-25 by 25-35 yards

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