Only three teams have booked their place in the knockout stages of the quadrennial event.
Only Portugal, Brazil, and France have qualified for the knockout stages after two wins in two games. While we wait for other countries to make it to the last 16, their final group match will settle their fate.
The build-up to this World Cup was clouded by controversies, but ever since, the thrill, emotions, and joy felt in this tournament have beyond expectations, and we have gone so far with dark horses causing major surprises in this tournament. Spain, Argentina, Germany, and England are considered favourites in this tournament, but they have performed decently thus far, and their particular matchups will settle their fortunes.
France, Brazil, and Portugal have reaped the rewards of their endeavours
Meanwhile, the other contenders, Brazil, Portugal, and France, have already progressed to the knockout phase. France were the first nation to accomplish this as they also broke the group elimination curse, which applies to every defending champion that fails to advance through the group stages in the next World Cup, but France demonstrated devotion.
France’s first group encounter was against Australia, which they won 4-1, followed by a 2-1 triumph against Denmark. Brazil pushed their way to a 2-0 victory, capped by a 1-0 success over Switzerland. Meanwhile, Portugal had the same plotline, as they were fortunate to clinch a 3-2 win over Ghana, while they soundly defeated Uruguay with a 2-0 romp.
All three nations will now face no strong competitors and have a chance to progress to the quarter-finals. Portugal will face the Group G runners-up. Brazil will meet the second-place team from Group H, which could be Uruguay, Ghana, or South Korea. France will take on the runners-up of Group C, which may be Poland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, or Argentina.
The Round of 16 will begin to take shape tomorrow, as all group games will be played at the same time. France, Portugal, and Brazil will most certainly rest their players, and the entire focus will now shift to the Round of 16.