Very often, in some of the biggest competitions of soccer on the world stage, we see the winner being decided through an aggregate score. This concept can sound confusing at first, but is actually very simple to understand.
The aggregate score is basically the combined score over two matches between two teams. This is also known in the United States and Canada as the home-and-home rule. Let’s say there’s two teams, Team A and Team B. In the first match, which is played at Team A’s home ground, Team A defeats Team B 2-1. However, in the second match, Team B defeats Team A 3-0. Now the aggregate score is Team A: 2 – Team B: 4. And so, because their total score was higher, Team B wins the match. The two games played in this way are called the two legs of the match.
Why This Is Used
This ensures two things.
- That both teams have an equal and fair opportunity to advance – Both the teams get to play two games this ensures that no team gets through with pure luck. In a single-legged tie, very often teams could sit back and attack only at the last moments of the game, to get a late goal to go through.
Thai system ensures that only the best teams go through. This also gives an opportunity for teams to come back from defeats, which tests the teams resolve and desire, two integral integral qualities displayed by any successful soccer team.
- This is very often more exciting and enjoyable: Take the Champions League, for instance. This is the pinnacle of European club competitions, and clubs from all over Europe compete to get the trophy. From the Round of 16 to the semi-final, each match is played out in two legs, with teams going through on aggregate.
This has led to some of the most memorable nights in the history of the sport, like when Barcelona overturned a 4-0 aggregate to go through in a nail-blighting match, after winning 6-1, or when Liverpool did a similar thing against Barcelona, overturning a 3-0 deficit and going through to the finals with an aggregate score of 4-3.
- Home crowds: Both the teams’ supporters get to cheer on their team at their own stadiums, and soccer fans are very vocal and this vocal support has very often spurred teams on to put on inspired performances, like in the case of Barcelona when fans held up banners with things like “Yes, we can” written on them. It is very likely that without this support, Barcelona would not have been able to win that match.
One Of The More Complex Rules
Away goals: In case of a draw in the scores of the two teams at the end of the match, the team with the more away goals goes through. So, if Team A won 2-1 in the first leg at home, but Team B got a goal, that would be one away goal for Team B. If Team B won 1-0 in the second leg at home, they would go through, even though the aggregate score would be 2-2.
If in the second leg Team B won 3-2, Team A would go through, because the my had more away goals even though the aggregate would be 4-4. This is a controversial rule, and has caused a lot of anger among a lot of people, as they can’t understand why some teams go through even though the result was a draw.
If at the end of the two legs both the teams have an equal number of goals and an equal number of away goals, the match goes into an extra time of 30 minutes. If the match is drawn even then, the game goes to penalties.
That is the aggregate system in a nutshell. While the away goals issue remains contentious, this method remains one of the most exciting ways to count the score in a match, leading to a ruthless way of playing, in which the more weak teams get kicked out, and can’t advance due to sheer luck. Very often, teams sit back for the duration of a match and try to get a late goal. Sometimes, this leads to inferior teams going through and this system ensures that the quality of a tournament remains high, leading to a clinical and tactical approach to soccer.