Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login



With the score 3-1 at the 90th plus minute, the losing team's 2nd to last defender, already on a caution, commits an offence against an opponent advancing on the goalkeeper, with only the keeper between the opponent and the goal. This offence is the attempt to trip and puts the attacker off balance at about 16 yds. directly in front of goal. You are thinking advantage, or (what if you actually signalled advantage?) so you delay your whistle awaiting the outcome as per instructions inside the PA but realize match time has expired just as he takes the shot from his off balanced position, just short of the penalty mark and no goal results it went wide or keeper saves, either works. Your Call is? Your match, Your decision and Your reputation...


Jack Smith Sydney New South Wales Australia
Stop play, send-off the defender for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick, restart with a penalty kick for carelessly attempts to trip an opponent. There are three major concerns here. Double dipping, time expiring, and the perceived harshness of taking action against a team losing 3-1 in stoppage time. This is not double dipping. The attacker was still affected by the foul when he took the shot and so never really had a clear advantage. Law 5 states that the referee "allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time". The anticipated advantage did not ensue. The only reason you have really played advantage here is as a courtesy to the defender, with fingers crossed hoping the ball goes into the goal so that you don't have to send him off. Time did expire before you decided to award the penalty kick, but I still believe the penalty kick should be taken here. Law 14 states "Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half or at the end of periods of extra time." The offence occurred before time expired, therefore I believe the penalty kick should still be taken. Furthermore, the only think you're extending time for is for the penalty kick to be taken, which is consistent with Law 14. The score is 3-1, and the match is effectively over, but that is inconsequential. To be fair and equitable, a referee needs to consistently enforce the Laws. With all the information here, the referee would be wrong by Law to decide to not award the penalty kick and send-off the player. If this match was played as part of a league or group stage of a cup, the effect on goal difference / suspension of the defender has the potential to drastically alter the outcome of the competition

Alan Siegel Rancho Palos Verdes CA USA
This is a "moment of truth" that shows whether a referee has the best interests in the game or not. The easy route is to ignore the foul and end the match, since the potential goal would not affect the results. However, this ignores the fact that a defender committed a serious foul during regulation time that can and should be punished, and also ignores the fact that a team's goal differential placement in a tournament standing or league table could be unfairly affected by the referee's decision not to call the foul. The defender has committed a Direct Free Kick foul (trips or attempts to trip an opponent) carelessly in the defender's own Penalty Area. Thus, per Law 12, the appropriate restart is a Penalty Kick. This also meets the DOGSO 4D criteria outlined in ATR 12.D.6, thus the fouling defender should be shown the red card and sent off the field for "denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick". The referee correctly thought about applying advantage to the foul, and did not whistle the play stopped. Once the advantage did not materialize (i.e., a goal was not scored), the referee may indeed award a Penalty Kick to the attacking team even though time has expired. This is noted in Law 14 which allows time to be extended at the end of a period to allow the taking of a penalty kick

Phil Tarzana CA United States Referee
Penalty kick. Whether or not you signaled advantage, the only advantage is if there is a goal or unfettered shot on the goal. Because the attacker was off balance & therefore affected by the foul (attempt to trip) inside the penalty area, the result is a penalty kick. The foul happened BEFORE time expired, regardless of when the shot was taken, so the referee can go back to the original foul. There are 2 reasons why the "expired" time wouldn't prevent a penalty kick. 1) The defender is now going to get a red card for 1 of 2 reasons. First, already having a yellow, this tactical offense is at least a second yellow & send off. Since that happened during active play, even though it's in extra time, the referee can & should add extra time to issue the 2nd caution & red card for the send off. This alone would be sufficient to allow a penalty kick, as Law 5 gives the referee sole authority to act as timekeeper. The referee can add extra time, even during "extra time". Similarly, it also appears that the 2nd offender would have been given a straight red card for DOGSO. There are 4 considerations under Law 12 (p.130 LOTG 2014-2015): distance to goal (16 yds.), keeping or gaining control of the ball (already had control), direction of play (toward the goal), location & number of defenders (only the GK), & all seem to be met. So even if this defender didn't already have a caution, he could be sent off for DOGSO & the referee could add time for that. 2) Under Law 14 (& also in Advice to Referees on Law 14), a penalty kick may be taken after time is over (provided the foul occurred during the game). It's important that the referee specify whether time has been added to allow the penalty kick (i.e. the game hasn't ended) or that the penalty kick is being taken in "extended time". If it's the former, both teams can participate after the kick is taken (e.g. say a rebound off the post). In the latter, only the GK can participate after the kick is taken.

Brad Plymouth Michigan United States Referee
Advantage was not realized, therefore foul can be applied since foul happened before expiration of time. Foul sounds like a DOGSO-F since all four D's are satisfied, so defender is assessed a Red (rather than 2nd Yellow leading to a Red). Regarding handling of the PK, this would be an extended-time PK. Even though winning team of match has been decided, attempt should still be made, both to satisfy LOTG and because of potential impact to "goals for / goals against" scenarios.

James Connolly Wolverhampton West Mids England Referee
Award a penalty. Dismiss the defender for DOGSO. The penalty can be awarded for tripping and a penalty is the only thing time can be added on for after injury time has expired.

Jamie Laning Huntsville Ontario Canada
"advancing on the goalkeeper, with only the keeper between the opponent and the goal" & "at about 16 yds" - Distance is close, direction is at the goal and defenders is zero. This is an obvious goal scoring opportunity (Guidelines - Law 12). "...he takes the shot from his off balanced position" & No goal is scored - Advantage, whether signaled or not, is not realized. "... match time has expired just as he takes the shot..." - So, the foul was committed before time expired. Attempt to trip is a DFK foul (Law 12). It has been committed by a player, on the field and with the ball in play. The foul has denied the obvious goal scoring opportunity - The defender is sent off (Law 12). It happened in the PA, so we go to PK (Law 12). By law 14, extra time is allowed for the PK to take place. The fact that the team is ahead is not significant. The player already having a caution is not significant, per the LOTG. In our district, the caution would accumulate (on the season), in this situation. Had he committed a tactical foul, he'd get caution #2, be sent off and not accumulate cautions, since the send off is considered the completed sanction for the two cautions in the game.

Stewart Livermore CA USA Referee
Since match time had expired at the taking of the shot, advantage was not realized. Issue a red card to the defender for DOGSO, and then indicate the game will be over at the conclusion of the penalty kick. In reality you would not know if time had expired at the taking of the shot (unless it was a high school game with a horn). However, the outcome would be the same. The off balance shot that does not score negates advantage. Issue a red card and allow the penalty kick in extended time.
Grant Current Cobourg Ontario Canada
The advantage was not realized, return to the location of the foul, which was in the penalty area. Law 14: additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken. Send off the defender for DOGSO, award the penalty kick, then end the match.

Russell Montgomery Sydney Australia
Penalty awarded. Direct red to the defender. Extend match for taking of penalty. Defender commits a DFK by attempting to trip an opponent (Law 12) within the penalty area. Referee applies advantage, however, no advantage gained (Law 5), and, as he is acting as timekeeper (Law 5) he determines the foul was committed inside playing time, so awards penalty (Law 14) and therefore extends match to allow the taking of the penalty (Law 7). Defender shown straight red for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick’ (Law 12). Match ends at completion of penalty sequence (as determined by Referee following either; awarded goal, keeper save, or, missed attempt).

Call for Papers

We are calling for papers on...

Funny Stories while refereeing

Managing the Sidelines (Parents, Coaches and Fans)

If you would like to submit an article for publication on please email your article to In the subject line put article submission.

Editorial Guidelines

Your article must be soccer referee, or laws related.

The article must be your work. Please do not send us articles that you do not have reprint permission for.

Please proof and spell check your work.

You must include a short BIO at the end of your article stating your name, licenses, affiliations and a brief history of your experience.

If you have any questions you may contact MrRef

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.