Last updated on December 1st, 2022
While you are watching a soccer match on TV, you may be wondering what do the different numbers mean on the scoreboard.
Here’s a guide to explain each different section of the scoreboard for you.
How to read a soccer scoreboard on TV
There are 4 main sections of the soccer scoreboard: the current score, aggregate score, current time, and additional time. All of these sections play an important role in determining both the time of the match and the score for both teams playing in the match.
This scoreboard was taken from the YouTube video below:
In this scoreboard, there are all 4 sections of a scoreboard that you’ll see on TV, and here is each one explained further:
#1 Current score
In the middle of the scoreboard, you will see the main score between the two teams.
For this example, Borussia Dortmund is leading Rangers by 2 goals to 1.
You may want to note that for every goal scored in the match, it does not earn the team points. Instead, it is the team with the higher number of goals scored at the end of the match that will win the match.
#2 Aggregate score
In the second part of the scoreboard (orange 5-4 on the right), this represents the aggregate score.
In some competitions like the Europa League, the knockout rounds are held over two ties: both home and away.
This means that each team will play at their home ground, and at the opponents’ stadium too.
At the end of both matches, the team with the higher overall score will win the tie and progress to the next round.
In this example, you can see that even though Dortmund is leading Rangers 2-1, they are actually losing to Rangers 5-4 on aggregate.
This is because Rangers beat Dortmund 4-2 in the first leg of the tie.
In this case, Rangers is still leading the tie on aggregate:
Rangers eventually ended the match by scoring an equaliser, which meant that the total aggregate score was 6-4 in Rangers’ favour.
This means that Rangers progressed to the next stage, while Dortmund was eliminated from the tournament.
#3 Current time
The first clock on the top left-hand corner represents the time that has elapsed in the half.
There are some clocks that will continue increasing even after 45 minutes. However, in this case, the clock stops after 45 minutes, and the second timer below which represents additional time will start increasing.
This first clock is meant to show how much time has elapsed ever since the referee has blown his whistle to start the half.
If there is no additional time being awarded, the half will end once the clock reaches 45 or 90 minutes.
#4 Additional time
The second clock at the bottom represents the amount of additional time that has elapsed after the end of the half.
In this example, 1 minute and 32 seconds of additional time have passed.
The ‘+2‘ at the end represents the amount of additional time that has been awarded by the referee.
Additional time is also known as stoppage time or injury time, and is awarded at the end of the half to account for the amount of stoppages during the half.
You can find out more about how additional (stoppage) time is calculated in this article.
In summary, here’s how we can interpret the scoreboard above:
|Dortmund is leading
Rangers 2 goals to 1
|Rangers are leading Dortmund
on aggregate 5 goals to 4
|The first half has ended as 45
minutes have passed
|1 minute and 32 seconds out of the 2 minutes
of additional time awarded has elapsed
Let’s go through another example and see how we can interpret this scoreboard below:
In this case, the clock (top left-hand corner) only shows 86 minutes and 25 seconds. This means that the players are in the second half, but the half has not ended yet.
As such, there will not be a clock below which displays the additional time that has elapsed so far.
When we look at the score, RB Leipzig is leading 2-1 in this second leg, and 4-3 on aggregate.
Here’s a summary of how this scoreboard can be interpreted:
|Leipzig is leading Real
Sociedad 2 goals to 1
|Leipzig is leading Real Sociedad on
aggregate 4 goals to 3
|86 minutes and 25 seconds
have passed in the match
|No additional time has been
awarded by the referee
Here is another example of a scoreboard:
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The score for this match is tied at 1-1.
Since this match was the first leg of this two-legged tie, there was no aggregate score being shown.
The full 90 minutes have elapsed for the match, and the players are now playing in additional time.
The additional time that has elapsed is 4 minutes and 2 seconds, and 4 minutes of additional time was awarded by the referee.
Here’s an interpretation of this scoreboard:
|Atletico Madrid and Manchester
United are tied 1-1
|No aggregate score as this
was the first leg of the tie
|The second half has ended as
90 minutes have been reached
|4 minutes and 2 seconds out of the 4 minutes
of additional time awarded has elapsed
If you’re viewing a soccer scoreboard for the very first time, it can be very overwhelming with all of the different numbers.
However, once you’re more familiar with what the different sections mean, you will be able to understand the scores in no time!
Once you have mastered reading a soccer scoreboard, you can look to understand how to read a soccer league table here.
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