The 2022 World Cup has thrown up a number of intriguing storylines throughout the group stages, but as we approach the knockout rounds the mood will change somewhat.

There won’t be a point dished out to both sides if we end up with draws. Instead, the games will be decided with extra time and penalties if required.

Here’s how the competition will work in the knockout stages.

No extra time is played during the group stages in the World Cup’s current format. That changes in the knockout stages, where all matches must have a winner declared on the night.

If a World Cup knockout game ends in a draw after 90 minute are played, extra time ensues. This comprises two periods of 15 minutes each with any relevant stoppage time added.

In the knockout stage, if a match is level at the end of 90 minutes of normal playing time, extra time will be played (two periods of 15 minutes each).

There was previously experimentation with a ‘Golden Goal’ system in World Cups – this being where a player scores in extra time to put their side in the lead and end the match. Laurent Blanc netted one such strike in 1998 in the last 16 against Paraguay as Les Bleus went on to win the tournament. Ilhan Mansiz also scored a Golden Goal in 2002 as Turkey beat Senegal to reach the semi finals.

If a winner cannot emerge in the 30 minutes of extra time, the game then goes to a penalty shootout. Each team takes five penalties at the opposing goalkeeper and the side with the greater record wins the match and advances to the next round.

Of the 66 World Cup matches that have required extra time, 30 have gone to penalty shootouts and just two have gone to sudden death – those being West Germany’s win over France in 1982 in the WC’s first ever shootout and Sweden’s triumph against Romania in 1994.

A shootout has been required in two previous World Cup finals. Roberto Baggio famously fired over to spurn Italy’s chances and hand Brazil the 1994 trophy after earlier misses from Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro.

However, the Azzurri tasted sweet shootout success 12 years later. After a 1-1 draw in normal time, Italy converted all five penalties to leave France’s David Trezeguet cursing his miss with his side’s second spot kick.

Germany and Argentina have the best records in penalty shootouts with four wins apiece, while England, Spain and Italy have all buckled under the pressure three times each.


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