There are only two games taking place on Saturday on the first day of the knockout stage of the World Cup, and only one European team on the pitch: the Netherlands, as they take on the US.
Here’s our at-a-glance look at the day ahead.
Netherlands vs US (16:00)
The Dutch team has had a day of rest before the match with the US on Saturday, as the team has been battling the flu. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has not specified how many players were affected.
The US is trying to get to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.
The US have played against the Netherlands five times, all friendlies. The Americans lost four before rallying late for a 4-3 win in 2015.
A losing finalist in 1974, 1978 and 2010, the Netherlands began this tournament with a 2-0 win over Senegal, tied Ecuador 1-1 and beat Qatar 2-0 to top Group A.
Louis Van Gaal’s team has been criticised at home for an alleged lack of attacking flair despite an 18-game unbeaten streak.
Christian Pulisic, who became an American star with the winning goal that lifted his team into the round of 16 at the World Cup, will play despite injuring his pelvic bone while colliding with Iran’s goalkeeper.
The US has been winless in its last 11 World Cup games against European teams, a streak that includes five losses and six draws.
Argentina vs Australia (20:00)
Will this be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup match? Australia is widely expected to lose to Argentina — but there have been many upsets in this World Cup so far.
Argentina was shocked by Saudi Arabia in its opening match and had to beat Poland earlier this week to advance in the World Cup. After beating Poland, Argentina
emerged as the winner of Group C earlier this week.
Australia is in the knockout round for only the second time. Their previous trip was a 1-0 loss to Italy in 2006.
This is the first match between the two teams since 2007.
What happened at the World Cup on Friday?
South Korea advanced to the round of 16, after beating Portugal 2-1 with a stoppage-time strike from Hwang Hee-chan.
South Korea, who began the day in third place in the group, ensured a second-place finish.
Uruguay beat Ghana 2-0, but it wasn’t enough to allow the team to go through, as they needed three goals to surpass South Korea in goal difference.
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez cried as his team was knocked out of the World Cup, while the country’s players were angry at the referee as they didn’t get a penalty they thought they deserved.
Switzerland advanced to the last 16 for the third tournament in a row after a 3-2 win over Serbia.
There were some tensions towards the end of the match as Swiss player Granit Xhaka — whose family are ethnic Albanian — was pushed by Serbia’s Nikola Milenkovic. Both players got a yellow card as a result of the incident.
Cameroon was eliminated by the World Cup, but not without first enjoying a thrilling 1-0 victory over Brazil with Vincent Aboubakar’s goal two minutes into stoppage time.
Source: Euro News