Football Language: (to/be) Level

This short football language post talks about the phrase ‘(to/be) level‘, used as a verb or an adjective. If you have questions or comments, email us at: level
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Language: (to/be) Level

The word ‘level‘ means ‘even’ or ‘flat’, and in football when used as a verb ‘to level’, it means that a goal is scored equalling the other team’s score. The scores were levelled means, perhaps, that a team were losing one-nil but scored, bringing the scores to 1-1 – even, equal. So to level means to score and also bring the scores equal. It can also be used as an adjective – the scores are level, meaning equal. It is also used when talking about the rankings of teams in the league – team A and team B are level on points.

Example: Having dominated the first period, PSG scored two minutes into the second-half before a terrible own-goal by Berger levelled the tie. (The Guardian, 28 March 2019)

Example: Football news – Rangers beat Celtic to go level on points at top of table. (Headline from, 29 December 2018)

See also

(a) draw

(to) let a lead slip

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here If you have any suggestions, contact us at

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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