A look at the road out of the World Cup’s round of 16
MOSCOW (AP) No more ties, or tiebreakers. The World Cup is into the knockout stage, and every match will end with someone going home.
On Saturday, that meant two of the greatest players of the era followed each other out of the tournament. Lionel Messi and Argentina lost 4-3 to France, which got two goals from teenager Kylian Mbappe. Four hours later, Cristian Ronaldo and his European champion Portugal team lost 2-1 to Uruguay.
France and Uruguay were the first teams to reach the quarterfinals, and they’ll meet on July 6.
Russia and Spain were tied 1-1 after extra time, and the Russians clinched the shootout 4-3 in Moscow. Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup, retired from international football after the match. Croatia and Denmark were tied 1-1 at the end of extra time. Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three penalties – equaling a World Cup record – in a 3-2 shootout win over the Danes.
Here’s a look at what’s next:
Belgium – one of the few top-tier teams to deliver on its hype in the group stage – plays Monday against Japan, which sneaked out of its group because it got fewer yellow cards than Senegal. The later match pits Neymar and a Brazil lineup that seems to be finding its form against a mercurial Mexico squad that knocked off Germany and South Korea but got hammered by Sweden . The winners play July 6.
England will carry high expectations into its match Tuesday against a talented Colombia team after essentially choosing that matchup by fielding a squad of reserves in its last group game against Belgium. And the last game of the round of 16 features a Swedish side that won a tough group versus a Swiss team with issues in the back but enough talent up front to score against anyone. The winners play July 7 for the right to go to the semifinals.