THE away goals rule has for decades been the most common way to decide a two-legged tie in football.

It was introduced by Uefa in 1965 and was a feature of competitions until 2021. But is the rule used in the EFL play-offs?

 Sheffield United are among the teams seeking EFL play-off glory

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Sheffield United are among the teams seeking EFL play-off gloryCredit: PA

Do away goals count in the EFL play-offs?

Away goals do not count double in the EFL play-offs.

The Football League did use the rule but chose to abolish it in 1999.

This decision was made after an initiative by then-Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks.

Sheepshanks’ Tractor Boys lost via the rule in 1997 and 1999 despite finishing higher than their opponents in the league on both occasions.

What is the away goals rule?

The away goals rule is the most commonly used way of deciding football matches played over two legs.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes at home and 90 minutes away then, rather than go to penalties, the team that scored most goals in the away game goes through.

The idea is to reward away teams who choose to play attacking football.

Do away goals really count double?

That expression is supposed to be the law, but it’s really more of a figure of speech.

It simply means that away goals are the first decider for a tied two-leg match.

If anything, it is like an extra half a goal for the team that scored more away from home.

Which competitions use the away goals rule?

The Champions League and the Europa League, as well as all South American competitions abolished the away goals rule in 2021.

The League Cup did use away goals after extra time in the semi-finals but abolished the rule in 2018, with teams playing penalties after 90 minutes.

For the time being, Africa still uses the rule for World Cup play-offs, with Nigeria being knocked out by Ghana on away goals.

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