Away goals count as 1 + epsilon

Last night I inquired of my brother whether away goals counted, during Leeds’ crucial tie away at Carlisle. (The scores were poised at 2-2 on aggregate; Leeds had lost the home leg 2-1.)

His trite response was that away goals did count, my not having asked my question correctly. I wanted to know whether they carried any extra weight.

The concept of increasing the value of goals scored away is usually referred to as ‘away goals count double’. In reality, this is wrong, as if taken literally, a team losing 4-3 on aggregate with all seven goals having been scored at the winners’ home ground would be deemed victors, having won ‘6-4′ because of the away goals’ double value. In reality, away goals count for 1 + epsilon, where epsilon is a tiny number any multiple of which is never greater than 1 in the context of the game. Maybe epsilon could be set as 1/(total goals scored + 1) to avoid any possibility of this adversely affecting the outcome of the game.

(For completeness, Leeds went on to win 3-2 (or 5-4 if you’d prefer.)


2 Responses to “Away goals count as 1 + epsilon”

  1. elise on May 16th, 2008 22:38

    geez, dan. even i knew that away goals were more heavily weighted. 🙂

  2. Dan on May 17th, 2008 04:54

    But in this case they didn’t carry any extra weight. 😉

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