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!
|7 pts||Win vs Senegal. |
Draw vs Ecuador.
Win vs Qatar
|5 goals scored||1 goal conceded||1st place in |
|5 pts||Draw vs Wales. |
Draw vs England.
Win vs Iran.
|2 goals scored||1 goal conceded||2nd place in |
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?
|6 pts||Loss vs |
Win vs Mexico.
Win vs Poland.
|5 goals scored||2 goals conceded||1st place in |
|6 pts||Los vs France. |
Win vs Tunisia.
Win vs Denmark.
|3 goals scored||4 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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?
|6 pts||Win vs Australia. |
Win vs Denmark.
Loss vs Tunisia.
|6 goals scored||3 goals conceded||1st place in |
|4 pts||Draw vs Mexico. |
Win vs Saudi Arabia.
Loss vs Argentina.
|2 goals scored||2 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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!
|7 pts||Win vs Iran. |
Draw vs USA.
Win vs Wales.
|9 goals scored||2 goals conceded||1st place in |
|6 pts||Loss vs Netherlands. |
Win vs Qatar.
Win vs Ecuador
|5 goals scored||4 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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!
|6 pts||Win vs Germany. |
Loss vs Costa Rica.
Win vs Spain.
|4 goals scored||3 goals conceded||1st place in |
|5 pts||Draw vs Morocco. |
Win vs Canada.
Draw vs Belgium
|4 goals scored||1 goal conceded||2nd place in |
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?
|6 pts||Win vs Serbia. |
|3 goals scored||1 goal conceded||1st place in |
|South Korea’s |
|4 pts||Draw vs Uruguay. |
Loss vs Ghana.
Win vs Portugal.
|4 goals scored||4 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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?
|7 pts||Draw vs Croatia. |
Win vs Belgium.
Win vs Canada.
|4 goals scored||1 goal conceded||1st place in |
|4 pts||Win vs Costa Rica. |
Draw vs Germany.
Loss vs Japan.
|9 goals scored||3 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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?
|6 pts||Win vs Ghana. |
Win vs Uruguay.
Loss vs South Korea.
|6 goals scored||4 goals conceded||1st place in |
|6 pts||Win vs Cameroon. |
Loss vs Brazil.
Win vs Serbia.
|4 goals scored||3 goals conceded||2nd place in |
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?
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: Focus Images/Imago/Icon Sportswire
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