Fifa World Cup last 16 fixtures: who has qualified, and who plays who at Russia 2018?
Get a rundown of all the teams who have made it through to the knockout stage, and see which sudden-death fixtures are coming your way
The knockout stage of the World Cup sure is shaping up nicely, with some mouth-watering ties already set for the last 16 in Russia.
Here we run you through who has qualified so far, and the permutations for the rest of the groups, with all the details you need for the next round of games as sudden death comes into play.
WHO HAS QUALIFIED FOR THE LAST 16?
It was Uruguay who ultimately topped group A, thanks to a 3-0 win over Russia on match day 3, with star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani scoring to ensure the South Americans continued their 100 per cent start to the tournament.
The hosts had got off to a flying start with eight goals in two matches, beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Mohamed Salah’s Egypt 3-1.
Still, despite being brought back down to earth, Russia will take their place in the last 16 – and it’s always good to see home interest in the tournament kept alive.
In the end, the final standings of group B played out like most people expected, with Spain first and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal finishing second.
But the journey there was anything but predictable – Iran and Morocco gave the two heavyweights some mighty frights along the way.
And so finally, after 37 games, we got a 0-0 draw at this thrilling World Cup, with Denmark seemingly happy to play out a stalemate with France knowing both were going through to the last 16, after Peru had gone 2-0 up against Australia early in the second half.
Didier Deschamps’ men may have topped the group but they’ve flattered to deceive so far, scoring just three goals with their much-trumpeted attack failing to fire.
Many thought Argentina would be dominating this group, but Lionel Messi’s side barely made it through, with a late goal from Marcos Rojo against Nigeria securing second spot.
Croatia, on the other hand, saw off Iceland to make it three wins from three, having swept Messi and Co aside 3-0 in their second game.
In the end it was Brazil who topped the group, after goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva earned a 2-0 win against Serbia, who were pipped to second place by Switzerland.
The Swiss thought they’d done enough to secure victory until Yann Sommer’s added-time own goal ensured Costa Rica didn’t go home from the tournament without a point.
The denouement to group F produced perhaps the most dramatic day of the World Cup so far, with holders Germany dumped out of the tournament at the first hurdle.
South Korea pulled off a shock 2-0 win against a team that had been one of the strong favourites in Russia, and coupled with group winners Sweden’s 3-0 victory over Mexico, it means the Germans are out.
Everybody expected England and Belgium to qualify with a game to spare, and it’s played out that way in group G.
The sides beat Panama and Tunisia, each scoring eight goals and conceding two, to set up a showdown for top spot on Thursday, and both opted to rest a host of big-name stars.
Belgium won a dour game 1-0 thanks to former Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj’s sublime curling shot, meaning they pipped England to top spot.
What promised to be a thrilling finale to group H, with Japan, Senegal and Colombia all in contention to qualify, turned into a bit of a farce.
Japan went behind early on to Poland, who were already eliminated but looking to salvage some pride, and they desperately searched for an equaliser – as it stood, Senegal and Colombia drawing 0-0 was enough to put both those sides through at Japan’s expense.
But then Yerry Mina popped up with his second goal of the tournament for Colombia, and suddenly Japan, despite losing, were going through by virtue of having less yellow cards. Yes, really.
Japan and Poland were happy to play the final 20 minutes or so just casually stroking the ball around at the back, and Senegal failed to find a goal. The African side were rightly furious. Colombia ended up topping the group with Japan second.
WHO PLAYS WHO IN THE LAST 16?
We already know 10 of the 16 teams who have gone through from the groups, with four of the eight matches in the first knockout round already set. Let’s take a look:
France v Argentina
June 30, 10pm (Hong Kong time)
It’s the group C winners against the group D runners-up in a potentially thrilling first knockout tie of the tournament on Saturday.
Argentina have beaten France in both of their World Cup meetings, winning 1-0 at the inaugural 1930 tournament in Uruguay, and 2-1 in 1978 when Argentina won their first title on home soil.
Overall, including international friendlies, Argentina have won six of their 11 games against France. The Europeans have beaten the South Americans twice, with three games drawn.
Uruguay v Portugal
July 1, 2am
This one could be lively – it’s Luis Suarez’s group A winners against Cristiano Ronaldo’s group B runners-up.
The Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry between the two stars will surely add some spice, and we can expect a few yellow cards at least.
The sides have never met at a World Cup, but Portugal beat Uruguay 3-0 in a 1966 friendly, while they drew 1-1 in 1972.
Spain v Russia
July 1, 10pm
The first of two games on Sunday pits group B winners Spain against the group A runners-up and hosts Russia.
The teams have twice played before at the European Championship – Spain beat them 3-0 in the group stages in 2008, and 1-0 in 2004 – but never at a World Cup.
Spain lead the overall head-to-head with four wins, while there have been two draws between the sides in friendlies.
Croatia v Denmark
July 2, 2am
Group D winners Croatia will fancy their chances of progressing against group C’s goal-shy runners-up Denmark, having won all three of their games and scored seven times.
The teams have never met at a World Cup, but were in the same qualifying group for the 1998 tournament. Denmark beat Croatia 2-1 at home and the sides drew 1-1 in Croatia.
Croatia also beat Denmark 3-0 in the group stage at the 1996 European Championship in England. They each have one friendly victory against each other.
Brazil v Mexico
July 2, 10pm
The Brazilians got off to a stuttering start in Russia but they’re starting to click, and a Mexico team that surrendered so meekly to Sweden will not scare them.
Mexico could be left kicking themselves after missing out on top spot in group F on goal difference.
These two teams know each other well – they’ve met 40 times, with Brazil winning 23 of those and Mexico 10. Brazil have won three of their four World Cup meetings, with the sides sharing a 0-0 draw four years ago in the group stage of Brazil 2014.
The Selecao won their most recent meeting in an international friendly 2-0 three years ago.
Sweden v Switzerland
July 3, 10pm
A tie perhaps few thought they would see, and both teams will fancy their chances of making it to the quarter-finals.
The Swiss may be ranked 6th by Fifa, and Sweden 24th, but they’re evenly matched when it comes to their head-to-head.
Both teams have won 10 times against the other, and they have shared seven draws, but have never met at a major tournament.
Belgium v Japan
July 3, 2am
You’d have to fancy the more physical Belgians in this one, and Roberto Martinez’s side have won all three of their games while Japan just about sneaked into the last 16 by virtue of fair play, with only four points.
The teams have met five times, including at the 2002 World Cup where the co-hosts shared a 2-2 draw with the Red Devils in the group stage.
Japan have won two times against Belgium, who beat them for the first time 1-0 in their most recent encounter, a friendly in November 2017.
Colombia v England
July 4, 2am
And rounding out the last 16 is a potentially cracking match between two sides who have entertained in Russia so far – well, in England’s case, when they’ve bothered to put out their best team.
England may have missed out on top spot but they’ve got a great record against the South Americans, having beaten them three times, drawn twice and never lost to them.
World Cup history bodes well for the Three Lions – they beat Colombia 2-0 in the group stage of France 1998.