Ties are allowed in soccer games. In competitions where it is necessary to determine a winner (such as the World Cup finals), there are two primary ways to break the tie: by playing extra time or by a penalty shoot-out. Extra time simply involves having the teams play another mini-game, divided into two 15 minute halves. Extra time is not usually played as "sudden death," in which the games ends as soon as one team scores first; rather, the full 30 minutes of extra time is played and only if one team is ahead at the end will it be deemed the winner, just like in basketball.

If a game is still tied at the end of extra time, the game will usually be decided by penalties. Five players are selected from each team who then take penalty kicks one at a time, alternating between the two teams; if at the end one team has scored more goals, it is deemed the winner. Not all 10 penalties need to be taken to determine a winner: think of a situation in which the first three players from Team A all score, and the first three players from Team B miss; even though four players still have yet to attempt their penalties, there is no mathematical way that Team B can win, so the game is over as soon as one team has won.

If the score is still tied at the end of all 10 penalty attempts, the shoot-out then becomes sudden death. Each team selects a player to attempt another penalty shot. If one team scores and the other misses, the games ends immediately. If both teams score or both miss, the rounds will continue until there's a winner. Nerve racking stuff. But pretty darn exciting for the fans.

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