World Cup 2010 Round of 16

We enjoyed the group stages. They were an enjoyable way to whittle the World Cup down from 32 to 16 teams, and there was plenty of fun along the way. But we all know the knockout rounds are better. For all kinds of reasons.

Chief of which is the fact that from here on out every single game matters. Every game will have a winner and a loser. Winner goes forward, loser goes home. No draws.

For the very uninitiated, any game that’s tied after 90 minutes in the knockout rounds of the World Cup goes to extra time. The teams play an extra 30 exhausted minutes, where players on their last legs are equally capable of producing horrible lapses in concentration and breathtaking moments of glory. Both of which will be remembered forever.

If there’s still no winner after 120 minutes, it’s a penalty shootout. The horrible drama of a penalty shootout, which is not only guaranteed to produce a winner, it also guarantees that one player from the losing team will be singled out to take the blame. Harsh. But great viewing. Enjoy.

After the insane rush that is the group stage of World Cup 2010 is over, things start to get really serious. No more draws, no more playing not to lose. It’s win or go home as we enter the knockout stage of the tournament. Of the original 32 qualified teams, 16 will already be out, and each match will disqualify one more from the chance to raise the trophy on July 11th. Here is the breakdown of the Round of 16:


Uruguay vs. South Korea – 26 June 2010 4:00pm (South Africa Time)

USA vs. Ghana – 26 June 2010 8:30pm (South Africa Time)

Germany vs. England – 27 June 2010 4:00pm (South Africa Time)

Argentina vs. Mexico – 27 June 2010 8:30pm (South Africa Time)

Netherlands vs. Slovakia – 28 June 2010 4:00pm (South Africa Time)

Brazil vs. Chile – 28 June 2010 8:30pm (South Africa Time)

Paraguay vs. Japan – 29 June 2010 4:00pm (South Africa Time)

Spain vs. Portugal – 29 June 2010 8:30pm (South Africa Time)

Image is courtesy of FIFA

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