Categories: Sports

World Cup: 16 Nations enter the knockout rounds

The Group stage of the 2022 World Cup has concluded! The field of nations has gone from 32 to 16 in the knockout phase of the tournament. There are eight matchups to look forward to, the first two of which begin today!

Al Khor, Qatar, 20th November 2022. Opening ceremony during the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. (Photo by Focus Images/Imago/Icon Sportswire) ****NO AGENTS—NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY****

World Cup Round of 16

Netherlands vs USA

Netherlands
Group Stage
7 ptsWin vs Senegal.
Draw vs Ecuador.
Win vs Qatar
5 goals scored1 goal conceded1st place in
Group A
USA’s
Group Stage
5 ptsDraw vs Wales.
Draw vs England.
Win vs Iran.
2 goals scored1 goal conceded2nd place in
Group B

The first matchup of the knockout rounds is the Netherlands vs the USA. Both nations went undefeated in the group stage after not making the 2018 World Cup. The Dutch are a top side and seemed to cruise through Group A; the USA had to grind out their results to get to the knockout rounds. Now both face off in a match that will be determined who executes their game plan best. Can the Oranje keep the ball and dominate, or Will the USMNT defensive structure and buzzing midfield win the day?

  • Kickoff Time: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 am ET

Argentina vs Australia

Argentina’s
Group Stage
6 ptsLoss vs
Saudi Arabia.
Win vs Mexico.
Win vs Poland.
5 goals scored2 goals conceded1st place in
Group C
Australia’s
Group Stage
6 ptsLos vs France.
Win vs Tunisia.
Win vs Denmark.
3 goals scored4 goals conceded2nd place in
Group D

A team that many picked to win the World Cup, Argentina, will play in the round of 16 against a team that barely made the 2022 World Cup, Australia. The Argentines won two straight after stumbling in their first Group C match; their talisman Lionel Messi will be the one to watch in this one, as he tries to win his first-ever World Cup. Australia lost to defending champions France and then won two in a row on a dream run to these knockout rounds. Could we see possibly the biggest upset in World Cup history?

  • Kickoff Time: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2 pm ET

France vs Poland

France’s
Group Stage
6 ptsWin vs Australia.
Win vs Denmark.
Loss vs Tunisia.
6 goals scored3 goals conceded1st place in
Group D
Poland’s
Group Stage
4 ptsDraw vs Mexico.
Win vs Saudi Arabia.
Loss vs Argentina.
2 goals scored2 goals conceded2nd place in
Group C

The reigning World Cup champions, France, won Group D on seven points, and they’ll take a familiar UEFA opponent, Poland in the round of 16! The history of this matchup sees France having 8 wins, Poland has 3 wins, and there have been 5 draws. Who will come out on top in this renewal of a European rivalry? France is the favorite and looks the more in-form side. Poland was lucky to get to this stage, but maybe knockout football is what they need to show their quality!

  • Kickoff Time: Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 am ET

England vs Senegal

England’s
Group Stage
7 ptsWin vs Iran.
Draw vs USA.
Win vs Wales.
9 goals scored2 goals conceded1st place in
Group B
Senegal’s
Group Stage
6 ptsLoss vs Netherlands.
Win vs Qatar.
Win vs Ecuador
5 goals scored4 goals conceded2nd place in
Group A

England came into this tournament as one of the favorites to win it, they won Group B, and their opponent followed up an AFCON championship with a World Cup knockout stage. Senegal may be without star Sadio Mane, but they are a strong defensive team that can be dangerous on counterattacks. Can an England side that was tied for most goals in the group stage be the team to thwart the defensive structure of Senegal? Defense wins championships, but goals win games!

  • Kickoff Time: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2 pm ET

Japan vs Croatia

Japan’s
Group Stage
6 ptsWin vs Germany.
Loss vs Costa Rica.
Win vs Spain.
4 goals scored3 goals conceded1st place in
Group E
Croatia’s
Group Stage
5 ptsDraw vs Morocco.
Win vs Canada.
Draw vs Belgium
4 goals scored1 goal conceded2nd place in
Group F

A surprise winner of Group E, Japan, takes on the runners-up of Group F and of the 2018 World Cup, Croatia in the Round of 16. One of, if not the greatest story at the 2022 adaptation of the tournament has been the play of Japan. They use so little of the ball, but pounce when they have chances. Can A Croatia side that has only conceded once stop these lethal Japan chances? This match has a penalty shootout written all over it; could we see that type of drama with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line?

  • Kickoff Time: Monday, Dec. 5, 10 am ET

Brazil vs South Korea

Brazil’s
Group Stage
6 ptsWin vs Serbia.
Win vs
Switzerland.
Loss vs
Cameroon.
3 goals scored1 goal conceded1st place in
Group G
South Korea’s
Group Stage
4 ptsDraw vs Uruguay.
Loss vs Ghana.
Win vs Portugal.
4 goals scored4 goals conceded2nd place in
Group H

The betting favorite to win the 2022 World Cup, Brazil, won Group G. They get to take on perennial underdogs South Korea in another match that will feature teams with contrasting styles. Brazil’s Ginga attacking style moves the ball beautifully. Despite not having Neymar for a few matches, Brazil still dominates games with the ball. South Korea is the opposite. They use their structure and smarts to beat teams with less of the ball. This one should be a great one to watch; will the favorites to underdogs prevail?

  • Kickoff Time: Monday, Dec. 5, 2 pm ET

Morocco vs Spain

Morocco’s
Group Stage
7 ptsDraw vs Croatia.
Win vs Belgium.
Win vs Canada.
4 goals scored1 goal conceded1st place in
Group F
Spain’s
Group Stage
4 ptsWin vs Costa Rica.
Draw vs Germany.
Loss vs Japan.
9 goals scored3 goals conceded2nd place in
Group E

Morocco shocked the group of death, Group F, by winning it. They take on Group E runners-up, Spain. Both of these nations are familiar with each other geographically as they are separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, the waterway that splits Europe and Africa. Could we see a Moroccan side defeat mighty Spain by making them feel uncomfortable? They have already made European giants (Belgium and Croatia) at this World Cup. Spain will want the majority of possession, but can they make the most of it and beat their neighbors to the south?

  • Kickoff Time: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 10 am ET

Portugal vs Switzerland

Portugal’s
Group Stage
6 ptsWin vs Ghana.
Win vs Uruguay.
Loss vs South Korea.
6 goals scored4 goals conceded1st place in
Group H
Switzerland’s
Group Stage
6 ptsWin vs Cameroon.
Loss vs Brazil.
Win vs Serbia.
4 goals scored3 goals conceded2nd place in
Group G

Portugal won their group before the final matchday of the group stage, and Switzerland had a drama-filled final group game at this World Cup to make the knockouts. Now both European sides will clash in the round of 16! This should be a rather tight and even affair. Both teams will look to impose their will on the game through their star attackers, and it could come down to who can find the moment of brilliance on the day. Will it be Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal or Xherdan Shaqiri and Switzerland moving on?

  • Kickoff Time: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2 pm ET

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Mandatory Credit: Focus Images/Imago/Icon Sportswire

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