GD is a statistic in soccer known as “goal difference.” What does this mean, and how is it used? We’ll break that down for you below.
What Does GD Mean in Soccer?
Goal difference, also known as goal differential or points difference, is a team’s total goals scored minus their goals conceded. This is why goal difference can be displayed as both a positive (+) or negative (-) number. GD can be used to evaluate the relative strength of teams within a league, with a higher value expressing dominance against more opponents.
How Is Goal Differential Calculated?
Goal difference is calculated by subtracting the number of goals conceded across all league matches from the number of goals scored in league play. A goal scored by one team not only adds a point to their goal difference but also subtracts a point from their opponent’s GD. Thus if you add all of the GD values in a league’s table, the sum should be zero.
How Do You Use GD in Soccer?
Goal difference is most often used as a statistical tiebreaker between two teams tied on a league table (standings). If two or more teams have the same number of total points (awarded based on the results of matches), the team with the higher goal difference value will be awarded the higher position. GD is also used as the primary tie-breaker in tournaments with a group stage, such as the FIFA World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, etc. If two tied teams have the same GD, total goals scored and other further tiebreakers will be used.