GF is an abbreviation in soccer (association football) that means “goals for.” The Goals For stat line represent how many goals a football club got during the regular season and plays a vital role in ranking the best soccer teams that season. Here is the complete guide on what GF means in soccer and more!
Do the Number of Goals Matter During a Regular Season Game to Win?
During a regular-season game, the football club with more points wins that game. It doesn’t matter if the score is 1-0 or 7-2. The winning team receives three match points to go into their Match Points, while a tie gets one point. Match Points in the English Premier League help determine the winner that season on who had the most points, while Major League Soccer uses these points to award the Supporter’s Shield.
While match points are an easy way to tally up who had the best record, there are instances where teams can tie for the exact match point record at the end of a season. That is where GF (goals for) comes into play and why teams try and score more goals during a game even if they are winning. However, before we get to that, we need to understand how to calculate match points, break down soccer abbreviations, and explain how GF and GD come into play to determine the best team when there is a tie in match points.
How to Calculate Match Point Totals in Soccer?
The Premier League plays 38 games while MLS (Major League Soccer) plays 34. Both use the same match point system where the winner receives three points while a tie is one point. The squad that lost does not receive any points.
To calculate the match point totals, you take the number of matches via their outcome and sum up that total. Here is an example of taking all 38 games that two Premier League teams played that season. In this example below, Team A had a better point season regardless of the number of goals scored.
Team A = 20 Wins (3 Points) + Ties (7) = 67 Match Points
Team B = 21 Wins (3 Points) + Ties (2) = 65 Match Points
What Happens if there is a Tie in Match Points Between Teams?
There are instances where two (or more) teams can tie during a regular season, which means we need to determine a winner. Here is an example of two soccer clubs tying for the same point record during a season.
Team A = 20 Wins (3 Points) + Ties (7) = 67 Match Points
Team B = 22 Wins (3 Points) + Ties (1) = 67 Match Points
We need to use the GD formula to help break the tie between Team A, and Team B. The abbreviation GD stands for goals difference to see who the better squad was during that season.
GD Soccer (Association Football) Breakdown Example
GD means goal difference in association football, and it takes the totals GF (goals for) against the GA (goals against) metric to see which team was better.
Team A = GF (55) – GA (44) = 11 (GD)
Team B = GF (62) – GA (55) = 7 (GD)
In this example above, Team A was the better team due to a larger goal difference. Even though Team B scored more goals than Team A during that season, their goalkeeper and defense gave up more goals, ultimately costing them in the standings.
What Happens if Multiple Teams Have the Same GD Score?
If there is still a tie after the GD breakdown, the tiebreaker comes down to which team had the most goals for (GF) during the season. Let’s take an example below to illustrate what team would be the better squad during the regular EPL season.
Manchester City = GF (82)
Manchester United = GF (90)
In this example, Manchester United would be crowned the better team against Manchester City even if they had the same match points and goals difference during the season.
How Does the UEFA Champions League use Goals for in Games?
Club tournaments like the UEFA Champions League use an aggregate scoring metric to determine a winner. These tournaments are two games, and you add up the scores for both teams to see who had more points.
Game 1: Team A (Home) 6 vs. Team B (Away) 5
Game 2: Team A (Away) 1 vs. Team B (Home) 4
One team won one soccer game during the two-game match in the scenario above. However, Team A scored seven goals in two games while Team B scored 9. That means that Team B won this type of Club Tournament using the Goals For sum. If there is still a tie after these two games, the winner is the team with more goals playing as the away team.
Soccer Abbreviations and Acronyms to be Familiar With
Most Football League Tables will have the following columns to break down how each time is doing during the season. You will find these soccer stats across, Europa League, MLS, FIFA, The English Premier League, and more.
- MP / GP / PLD: Match played / Games Played / Played
- W: A win that results in three points for the team
- D: Draw or a tie during a game. Both teams receive one point for achieving this during a game
- L: Loss
- GF: Goals for
- GA: Goals against
- GD: Goals Difference. The Goals Difference takes the goals for and subtracts that into the goals against, which can then come out to a positive or negative number.
- GAvg: Goal average, which calculates the number of goals against the number of games a team plays
- PK: Penalty Kicks
- Points: The sum of total wins (3 points) and ties (1 point)
- POS: The position a club is in a soccer league
Conclusion: What Does GF Mean in Soccer?
In summary, GF stands for “Goals For” that a soccer club gets during a season. Goals for becomes a critical stat line when the total number of points between teams are tied, the number of goals becomes the following stat line to break the tie. In addition to that, club tournaments use Goals For to help determine a winner if two teams split a two-game series against each other.
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