How would you replace penalties in soccer/football?

OK, I love this idea and I’ll tell the various leagues that that’s the way to go.

I’m trying to imagine in my head what the various incentives would look and feel like in such a game.

I wonder what the incentives would be the other way round: i.e. if you score first (1-0) and the other team level (1-1). You win after extra time. However, if the other team then score again (1-2) and then you equalise (2-2), they would win, having been the first team to get to the tying score.

Perhaps that promotes a more attacking game, interesting thought though. It does mean that you never get to a point where both teams can sit back on level scores (doesn’t help in a 0-0 game though).

“First goal wins” might help address the bolded part. If the first goal wins, there would be more incentive to be aggressive when sitting at 0-0, at least earlier in the match.

not necessarily, being aggressive implies opening yourself to counterattack, it could very well end up having the opposite effect.

I find it humorous that a few ideas posted get the complaint that it will cause football to be even more defensive. The idea that we have to somehow convince sports teams that they should try and score points or goals or runs or whatever is pretty funny to me.

It’s simple, a draw is better than a lost game, a win is better than a draw, but it’s risky. In football a goal against you may very well seal your fate, so it’s a very delicate balance between wanting to score and wanting to be safe.
There is no feeling worse than missing a few goal opportunities in your rival’s area and then having them score in a counterattack, and it happens often enough to have engendered the saying “Goals missed are eventually paid for in goals against you” (or something like that, it’s too early for me to translate " Los goles que se erran en el arco de enfrente se sufren en el propio".)
Then we have (the great) Carlos Salvador Bilardo’s theory that being 2-0 in front is “the worst possible result”, but I will not elaborate on that.

In practice that is what seems to happen. Certainly with the “golden goal”. It is a sport where scoring is very hard to do and so the inbuilt incentive to do so is already massive. Tweaking the rules to try and incentivise it further doesn’t actually make it any easier and the huge downside of attacking play is leaving yourself open to the counter-attack (as Frodo said) and that doesn’t go away either.
The best we can do without a wholesale revamp of the game is to ensure that when the scores are level we have a fair way to break that tie and even better, an incentive for at least one team to keep on attacking.

To an extent that is what happens in the European club trophies where away goals count for more that home goals. With that in place you often get games that may be tied numerically but one team is nominally ahead and that (to my perception at least) seems to lead to fewer defensive games.
Mind you, UEFA have just knocked that on the head for next season so it’ll be interesting to see if defensive games do become more common.

I agree and I am surprised the rule was removed. Does UEFA actually like to end with PKs?

Provided that no rule is perfect, I feel that “first goal wins” might create too much of a gap to overcome for the team that falls behind.
I would think that the stronger team is already more incentivized to break the 0-0, and that “last goal wins” gives an incredible incentive to the losing team to try to equalize.
As an example, in the knockout stages of the Euro 2020 (or 2021) there were no 0-0. However 4 matches were decided by PKs.

I agree with this. One of the most dramatic parts of soccer is when your team goes down early, & you fight for most of the match and then finally score the equalizing goal in the last minute. With a rule change like that, now that’s not even worth a draw.

Also, I suspect it would lead to a lot more bus parking early in matches.

What do you think about last goal wins, though?

It would certainly add to the drama, but I’m not sure?

It’s funny, I’ve come to like the away-goal tiebreaker when there are two matches, but for some reason I struggle with abstract approaches like that when there’s only one match.

It’s just too hard to score a goal. Thus, I like something resembling the rouge of the Sheffield Rules. Add a secondary goal around the primary goal, and count scores in the larger goal as being worth something, but never enough to be worth a goal. You’d basically have a count of “almosts” that would be a reasonable measure of a team’s attacking capability. Make the area available small enough and goalies would even be able to cover most of it with a problem, and would have to consider trying to stop completely shots that would otherwise go or be deflected just wide of the main goal. Heck, just counting the number of times the ball hits the posts and remains in play might be sufficient, though that would drastically increase the chance of a tie still.

Obviously in case of a tie as time winds down in regulation, you just continue playing for a few more minutes until someone manages to score one of these rouges, which shouldn’t be too hard if that’s all you need to win. If it is too hard, then the area allowable should be expanded, at least vertically - I don’t know how capable players are, but I imagine that most of them can strike a ball from midfield and have it sail well over the opposing goal. Maybe not all the time, but a fair amount.