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Round of 16 World Cup 2022: Teams qualified, bracket, match schedule, fixtures and how it works – Sporting News


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All 32 teams started the 2022 FIFA World Cup with one goal: get to the knockout rounds.

Any player and coach will tell you that in the single-elimination knockout stage anything can happen. That’s why teams don’t care how they get there. They just want to get there.

Some paths will prove easier than others in the knockouts depending on the teams that qualify and on which side of the bracket each team winds up. The Round of 16 matchups are all predetermined with teams slotting in based on their finish in their respective groups (group winner or group runner-up).

Those nations that win their group are paired with a runner-up from a different group in the Round of 16 and a favorable first match can really set a team on its way to a deep run.

The Sporting News lays out all you need to know about the Round of 16.

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FIFA World Cup bracket December 6 update PM

World Cup Round of 16 fixtures

The matchups in the Round of 16 were predetermined and the bracket was filled out as each team clinched first or second place in their respective groups.

World Cup Round of 16

Date Match Time (ET / GMT) Stadium
Sat, Dec. 3 Netherlands 3, USA 1 Highlights  
Sat, Dec. 3 Argentina 2, Australia 1 Highlights  
Sun, Dec. 4 France 3, Poland 1 Highlights  
Sun, Dec. 4 England 3, Senegal 0 Highlights  
Mon, Dec. 5 Japan 1, Croatia 1 (1-3 pens) Highlights  
Mon, Dec. 5 Brazil 4, South Korea 1 Highlights  
Tue, Dec. 6 Morocco 0, Spain 0 (3-0 pens) Highlights  
Tue, Dec. 6 Portugal 6, Switzerland 1 Highlights  

MORE: Complete knockout round schedule through to the final

World Cup bracket Round of 16

The bracket above comes in two halves. And each will produce a World Cup finalist.

One half of the bracket features the following teams, from which one lucky finalist will emerge:

  • Netherlands (Group A winner)
  • USA (Group B runner-up)
  • Argentina (Group C winner)
  • Australia (Group D runner-up)
  • Japan (Group E winner)
  • Croatia (Group F runner-up)
  • Brazil (Group G winner)
  • South Korea (Group H runner-up)

The other half of the bracket will produce the other World Cup finalist from the following list:

  • Senegal (Group A runner-up)
  • England (Group B winner)
  • Poland (Group C runner-up)
  • France (Group D winner)
  • Spain (Group E runner-up)
  • Morocco (Group F winner)
  • Switzerland (Group G runner-up)
  • Portugal (Group H winner)

MORE: Which team has won the most World Cups in history?

Teams in Round of 16

France became the first side to reach the Round of 16 on November 26. Like France, Brazil and Portugal also mathematically qualified after just two group matchdays.

The other 13 qualifiers to the Round of 16 joined the French after Groups A-H wrapped up play by Friday, December 2.

Here are the 16 nations that reached the 2022 World Cup knockout rounds, nearly half of whom have already been eliminated.

  Group Winner Runner-up
Group A Netherlands Senegal
Group B England USA
Group C Argentina Poland
Group D France Australia
Group E Japan Spain
Group F Morocco Croatia
Group G Brazil Switzerland
Group H Portugal South Korea

MORE: Which teams have been eliminated at the 2022 World Cup?

How does Round of 16 work in World Cup?

The Round of 16 is the start of what is commonly referred to as the knockout rounds because every match is single elimination from here on out.

There are no points earned. There are no standings. There’s simply a winner and a loser.

What happens if knockout matches finish tied?

There has to be a winner on the day for each Round of 16 match and for subsequent knockout-round matches (quarterfinals, semifinals, third-place match, final). So if teams are tied after 90 minutes of regulation, the match goes into a 30-minute period of extra time. 

If the deadlock persists after those 30 minutes of extra time, then a penalty shootout will determine the team that moves on to the quarterfinals.

The Round of 16 pairings are set in advance. Teams that finish in first place in the group stage match up against teams that are runners-up in their respective groups.

How teams advance in World Cup

There are 32 teams that reach the World Cup after emerging from qualifying matches in their respective regions. 

Group Stage

Once they get to the World Cup, the first obstacle awaiting them is the group stage. In 2022, the 32 teams were split up into eight groups of four teams each.

The group stage consists of typical round-robin group play with each team playing the other three once. Three points are awarded for every win in the group stage, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If teams are tied on points, goal difference and then goals represent the first tiebreakers.

The top two finishers in each group advance to the knockout stage with each group winner and runner-up slotted into a predetermined bracket that starts with the Round of 16. 

Knockout Rounds

Beginning with the Round of 16 through to the final, every match is single elimination. Teams advance from the Round of 16 to the quarterfinals, then to the semifinals, and lastly to the final. 

As explained above, if teams are tied at the end of the 90 minutes of regulation, the teams play 30 minutes of extra time followed by a penalty shootout, if necessary.

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