The round of 16 for the 2022 World Cup kicks off on December 3. On December 3, 4, 5, and 6, two games will be played each day to decide the eight matches.
Another first marked at the Qatar edition of the FIFA World Cup tournament as the coming knockout stage will see six continents represented: Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America.
This World Cup has already proven to be more diverse, with underdog teams taking over. This is also the second time in history that two African teams have qualified for the Round of 16 in the same World Cup.
Japan was the latest to be added to the list after their shocking win against Spain last night.
Group A was won by the Netherlands, with Senegal placing second. England and the US advanced from Group B, while Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, topped Group C following their upset victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Poland finished second in Group C, joining the Albiceleste.
France and Australia advanced from Group D, and in Group E, Morocco surprised Belgium by winning the group and placing second to Croatia.
After their team’s unexpected loss to Costa Rica last Sunday, many Japanese supporters were preparing for their country to be eliminated by Spain in the first round of the World Cup in Qatar.
Instead, the Khalifa International Stadium served as the setting for another extraordinary night of Japanese football as the Samurai Blue defeated the reigning world champions by a score of 2-1 to advance to the round of 16, where they will face Croatia, who finished second in 2018. If Japan won that game, it would advance to its first World Cup quarterfinals.
Japan unexpectedly won Group F, finishing first overall, ahead of Spain and Germany, with Hansi Flick’s team exiting the competition.
Tonight, confirmation for Groups G and H will be made. The positions of Brazil and Portugal have not yet been determined, but they will advance.
South Korea must defeat the European nation to have any chance of making it to the round of 16, while Fernando Santos’ team only needs a point to guarantee finishing first in their division.