If 120 minutes of play is not enough to separate the winner and runner-up, then a match is decided in a penalty shootout in the knock-out rounds.
FIFA - the governing body of world football - introduced the penalty shootout as a tiebreaking measure in the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina. But it did not come into use until the 1982 Spain World Cup where West Germany defeated France in the semifinals.
The first World Cup final to have been decided by a penalty shootout was in 1994 when Brazil defeated Italy to be crowned champion for the fourth time. Although Romario and Bebeto kept Italy’s defence busy in the regulation time (90+30 minutes), their famous counterpart Roberto Baggio had a rare off day on the pitch. In the tiebreaker, Brazil defeated Italy 3-2, with Baggio’s shot going over the crossbar.
The penalty shootout returned to decide the FIFA World Cup again in 2006. Italy and France met in the high-octane final at the Olympiapark Stadium in Berlin. French talisman Zinedine Zidane put his country in command from a spot kick in the seventh minute into the first half before Marco Materazzi levelled the score with a header in the 19th minute.
Both sides failed to score again. The match was marred by an untoward incident: Zinedine Zidane head-butted Materazzi only to see a red card. In the penalty shootout, France looked morally down without their captain as Italy registered a 5-3 win to lift its fourth World Cup title.