What Is a Brace in Football? An Explanation of This Term

What Is a Brace in Football? An Explanation of This Term

Like most sports out there, football has its fair share of ‘football-specific’ terms and expressions that you may hear from sports commentators, pundits, and even avid fans.

And just like hat tricks have nothing to do with a covering for the head, a brace in football has nothing to do with suspenders.

So, what is a brace in football exactly?

Let’s find out.

What is a Brace in Football?

Scoring a brace in football means that a player has scored two goals in one match, which is something the top strikers in Europe can easily do.

Two goals count as a brace regardless of when they were scored during the event. 

The player can score one after another, one in the first half and one in the second half, or in between goals scored by other players, and they would still be considered a brace.

In other words, as long as the player has scored them before the referee’s final whistle, it’s considered a brace in football. 

For example, when a commentator says that ‘Cristiano Ronaldo scores a brace in Portugal’s outstanding 4-0 win against Switzerland’, or ‘Ronaldo’s brace led Manchester United to a big win over Arsenal’, it means that  Ronaldo scored two goals each in both matches.

Worth noting: There’s a different term for instances when a single player scores three goals in a match– a hat trick. Four goals is a ‘haul’, and five is unofficially a ‘glut’.

Why Are Two Goals Called a Brace in Football?

The term ‘brace’ is believed to derive from an old English hunting term, which has roots in Anglo-French from the 14th century and means ‘a pair of arms; or pair’. 

English people used it to refer to someone who shot two birds in one hunting session. 

They also used the phrase: ‘Hunters shot a brace of birds’.

The term eventually came into use in football sometime in the late 19th century for players who ‘hunt’ for goals and goal-scoring opportunities.

Nowadays, the term is most popular among British commentators and fans, and you’re most likely to hear it during the Premier League and the EFL League Championship.

Worth noting: The term hat trick traces its origins to cricket –the term was used when a bowler took three wickets from three consecutive balls.

Related: What was the highest-scoring football game?

How To Increase Your Chances of Scoring a Brace

The best way to get better at scoring goals, regardless of whether you’re chasing a brace or a hat trick (or more), is to train your shooting and finishing

If shooting is not your best asset as a football player, then chances are you’re much less likely to score two goals in a match, even if you get an opportunity to score a brace.

Naturally, scoring a goal, let alone a brace or a hat trick sometimes takes a bit of luck and being in the right position at the right time. The goalkeeper’s skills, as well as the other team’s defenders, might make it harder for you to score a brace.

Your position also plays a big part. If you’re a defender, your chances of scoring a brace are minimal. Defenders rarely find themselves in a position where they can score a goal, let alone two. 

Midfielders have a slightly better chance, while forwards are most likely to score a brace, given that they’re much closer to the opponent’s goal.

Worth noting: Christiano Ronald holds the record for the most braces in the history of football. So far, he has scored a total of 127 braces in his career (and 60 hat tricks).

Also read: What does GD mean in football?

Bottom Line: What Does Score a Brace Mean?

So, what’s a brace in football?

A brace in football means that a player has scored two goals in one match. It’s not something that’s often seen in matches, but it’s not impossible either– many football legends have done it, and many more will.

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