What Are the Best 20 Minutes of a Soccer Game?

Today I was really excited about a huge game in the English Premier League, Manchester United hosting Manchester City. They’re the top 2 teams in the EPL right now.

The problem is, I had a busy day (some work, some play), and I didn’t have time to watch 90 minutes of soccer. So I set my TiVo to record it, and I sat down to watch it during lunch. My intention was to watch about 20 minutes of it.

But here’s the puzzle: Which 20 minutes are the best 20 minutes? I wanted to see the goals, but I also wanted to see some all-out gameplay. Soccer may not be interesting to everyone, but to a soccer player like me, watching nice passes, ball control, and defense is almost just as good as a quality goal.

I ended up choosing the following:

  • Minutes 25-30: I figured this is when players are into the rhythm of the game and want to make something happen, but they’re not tired yet.
  • Minutes 40-45: Teams often make a push right before halftime, especially if they’re behind or feel like they should have scored already.
  • Minutes 65-70: This was pretty random–I wasn’t sure when to watch this part of the game.
  • Minutes 85+: Even though players are tired, this can be a dramatic part of the game for one team. The downside is that a team in the lead is typically trying to slow down the game at this point, but I can fast forward through those parts.

What do you think? If you had 20 minutes to watch a 90-minute soccer game (or any sport you love), which 20 minutes would you choose?

3 thoughts on “What Are the Best 20 Minutes of a Soccer Game?”

  1. Thankfully for me, the NFL makes a highlight reel for each game. Since I’m in another country and can’t get regular TV, I watch the highlights of my fav team (Vikings) on YouTube. It’s usually less than 10 minutes, but it shows all the scores and awesome plays!!

    • Nice! That’s typically how I watch soccer and football, though the highlights I watch are usually around 2 minutes long. 10 minutes is a nice number, as you probably get to see more than just the scoring plays.

  2. Jamey,

    While I don’t follow sports at all, admittedly, my daughter and I have watched more soccer than any other sport on tv. The main reason for this…the level of endurance is higher than almost any other activity. American football has some powerful plays, no doubt, but almost the entire game is conducted in <10 second bursts over the course of nearly four hours. Now, I have to say that your choice of breaking up the 20 minutes you would watch into four small chunks seemed peculiar, but your knowledge of the game means you know when to watch some of the choicest parts. For me, I would probably pick the last 20 min of any sport as I'm interested in how it ends.



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