World Cup Qatar 2022: Knockout Stage Matches

England have progressed as group winners along with France, Argentina and Netherlands while Brazil, Portugal and others will soon discover their opponents in the knockout stages.

The glory days of four World Cup matches per day are sadly over as the group stages draw to a close and the knockout stage beckons.

World champions France were the first to book their place in the last 16, thanks to a pair of victories over Australia and Denmark in Group D, prior to losing their final match against Tunisia. The Socceroos have surprisingly joined them after beating the Danes 1-0 in their final match.

Elsewhere, groups A and B have been finalised, with the Netherlands and Senegal progressing from the former and England and the United States of America from the latter. Argentina topped their group after suffering an opening game defeat to Saudi Arabia with Poland finishing as runners-up in Group D.

Portugal and Brazil are also safely through after winning their first two matches.

Campus Times has taken a look at the current standings and the final group stage fixtures to predict who will be playing who in the last 16.

England players celebrate victory over Wales

Netherlands vs USA – Saturday 3 December 3pm

The Dutch did not overly impress in the group stages, succumbing to a draw against Ecuador which could have easily been a defeat, beating Senegal with two late goals scored thanks to an error from Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, and winning against Qatar without breaking much of a sweat. But seven points were enough to see them finish top of Group A.

They will face the runners-up in Group B, which would have been Iran had they managed to earn at least a draw against the USA on Tuesday night. But Christian Pulisic’s first-half goal was enough for the Americans to progress, and they remain unbeaten so far in the competition after drawing with both Wales and England.

England vs Senegal – Sunday 4 December 7pm

England beat both Iran and Wales to top Group B, scoring a mightily impressive nine goals in the process as the likes of Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham starred for the Three Lions.

Gareth Southgate’s men will face the runners-up in Group A, which was decided by a straight shootout in the match between Ecuador and Senegal. The South Americans could have progressed with a draw, but went down to a 2-1 defeat to Aliou Cissé’s men, meaning the African champions pipped them to second place.

Argentina vs Australia – Saturday 3 December 7pm

Argentina may have toiled in their opening two matches in Group C, losing to Saudi Arabia in one of the World Cup’s biggest ever shocks before eventually beating Mexico with two late goals after a middling performance, but they were much-improved in their final game with Poland and went through as group winners.

Australia will be awkward opponents for Messi and co, though, after exceeding expectations by reaching the knockout rounds for the first time since 2006. Graham Arnold’s side were thumped 4-1 by France in their opening match, but rallied to beat both Tunisia and Denmark by 1-0 scorelines.

France vs Poland – Sunday 4 December 3pm

France impressed in their first two matches with Kylian Mbappe, in particular, catching the eye, prior to suffering a humiliating loss to Tunisia albeit with a virtually completely different team. Despite being beaten by Wahbi Khazri’s strike, Les Bleus still topped their group due to goal difference.

Soccer-Mbappe brace that sent France through to last 16 after 2-1 win over Denmark

Les Bleus will take on Poland next after they scraped into the last 16 on goal difference ahead of Mexico. Poland were one goal better off than their Group D rivals in the end, but were it not for Saudi Arabia’s 95th-minute equaliser against the Mexicans, they would have relied on disciplinary points to progress.

Spain (TBC) vs Croatia (TBC)

Spain are the current leaders in Group E, and with a match against a hit-and-miss Japan side to come are likely to remain there once the final round of fixtures is over, meaning youngsters Gavi and Pedri will have further opportunity to impress after a very strong start to the competition.

Canada have been knocked out of Group F, so the runners-up spot is likely to go to either Croatia or Belgium, who face each other in the last group stage game. A draw would do for Croatia and set up a re-run of the sensational last-16 Euro 2020 contest which saw the Spanish win 5-3.

Morocco (TBC) vs Germany (TBC)

Morocco’s thoroughly impressive win over Belgium, combined with their opening round draw against Croatia, has taken them to the top of Group F and a win over point-less Canada would see them finish there.

Any of Japan, Costa Rica and Germany could finish second in Group E, but Hansi Flick’s side will be favourites after rescuing their tournament late on against Spain. Any win over Costa Rica, who lost 7-0 to Spain in the first round of matches, will likely be enough to see them through.

Brazil vs Ghana (TBC)

Brazil have found it hard to make the breakthrough in their matches so far in Qatar, but eventually beat smart Switzerland and Serbia sides to take the ascendency in Group G and will top the group if they draw with Cameroon or avoid a heavy defeat.

Any of Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea could still make it through from Group H as runners-up, but with the Koreans facing Portugal and needing to win by two goals they are likely going home. That means Ghana vs Uruguay in the final match will decide who progresses, with the African side only needing a draw.

Portugal vs Switzerland (TBC)

Portugal have benefitted from two contentious penalty calls in their opening matches, helping them beat Ghana 3-2 and Uruguay 2-0. Barring a heavy defeat in their final match against South Korea combined with a strong win for Ghana over Uruguay, they will be winners of Group H and will face the runners-up from Group G.

The Swiss and Serbs play each other in the final round of matches, so the winner will progress in second place behind Brazil and face Portugal. A draw would be enough for Switzerland.

C.Ronaldo is the star to watch when Portugal meet Switzerland
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