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Rule implemented by UEFA in 2003 which changes the way extra time football (soccer to Americans) matches are decided.

In the past, in knockout round matches (where one team needs to win; no draws) that were tied after 90 minutes, if a team scored in one of two 15 minute extra time periods, the match ended immediately. The team that scored the goal was declared the winner (similar to sudden death overtime in American sports). This was known as a golden goal.

However, there were problems with this system. It put extra pressure on referees, and teams often played more defensively to avoid giving up a golden goal, since if the match was still tied after the two 15 minute extra periods, there would be a penalty shootout.

The new silver goal rule tries to rectify these problems. Now, there's still the two 15 minute extra sessions. But if a team scores, the match continues until the end of that 15 minute period. Therefore, it's not sudden death, and it gives a team a chance to come from behind. So if a team scores in the 2nd minute of the 1st overtime, the other team still has 13 minutes to score.

The rule will make its debut at the 2003 UEFA Cup finals and Champions League finals. It will also be in use for the 2004 European Championships.


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