FIFA World cup: Round of 16 fixtures, where to watch
New Delhi: After sixteen days of exciting football in the group matches, FIFA’s 21st quadrennial juggernaut has now entered the Round of Sixteen stage.
The line-up for the knockout round was completed yesterday, when Colombia and Japan qualified from Group H. The knockout round is the second and final stage of the competition, following the group stage.
It will begin from tomorrow with a mouth-watering tie between France and Argentina in Kazan at 7.30 p.m., and Uruguay meeting Portugal in Sochi later at 11.30 p.m. Two-time champions Argentina had a shakier path to the knockout stage, while France, also a former title-winner qualified unbeaten from its group.
In Sochi, the Portugal-Uruguay clash will be more than a battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. Uruguay won all three of their group matches, and are the only team yet to concede a goal at the tournament. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo has scored four of Portugal’s five goals so far, while Barcelona star Suarez netted against Saudi Arabia and hosts Russia.
The Adidas Telstar Mechta will replace the Telstar 18 used during the group stage of football’s biggest tournament. The new red design reflects the host nation’s colours and the “rising heat” of the second half of the competition.