how long is a soccer game world cup

how long is a soccer game world cup

How Long is a World Cup Soccer Game?

The World Cup is one of the biggest and most iconic soccer tournaments in the world. Millions of soccer fans all around the globe eagerly await the annual event and tune in to watch the world’s best teams compete for the title. But one thing that fans often overlook when watching the World Cup is the game’s length.

Regulations of Soccer Game Length

A game of soccer, or football as it’s known in some parts of the world, is composed of two 45 minute halves. The duration of the halves can go over the allotted 45 minutes depending on stoppages for injuries or when the referee decides to add on extra time at the end. But regardless of how long the game actually goes for, it can never be less than the 90 minutes.

World Cup Periods

At the World Cup, the two 45 minute periods are broken down into two “periods”. To keep the flow of the game going, the referee stops the first period at the 45th minute, followed by a 15 minute break.

Once the 15 minutes have passed, the teams are called in and the second period commences. It’s important to know that the clock will count down to 0 during the break, meaning that when the whistle blows, teams have only 45 minutes of game time to make their mark.

Extra Time & Penalty Shootouts

In the event that neither team has found the back of the net by the end of the game, extra time is added on. The World Cup allows for two 15 minute periods – with a break of 5 minutes in between – with the first period counting down to 0. If a result is still unavailable after extra time, then the game is decided by a penalty shootout.


A game of soccer at the World Cup follows the same regulations as any other game: two 45 minute periods, with a 15 minute break in between, followed by two 15 minute periods in extra time. With the pressure of a title on the line, it’s important to know the game duration and make a lasting impression.


  • 90 minutes total game time
  • Two 45 minute periods
  • 15 minute break between periods
  • Two 15 minute periods of extra time

No matter the stakes, you now know how the clock works and when it’s time to make your move. Good luck.



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