With the World Cup group round finished, we move to the Round of 16. One of the biggest surprise inclusions is the USA team, which advanced despite losing to Germany in the final game of the group round.
Here is what you need to know about the knockout round and America’s chances.
1. Losers Are Immediately Eliminated
Unlike in the forgiving group round, if a team loses in the Round of 16, its players pack their bags and go home.
This does not bode well for teams that finished in second place in their individual groups — such as Team USA — because they are paired up to compete with teams that came in first in their respective groups. The bracket at the top of the page reflects these pairings.
2. The United States Will Play Belgium First
Belgium, the Group H winner, will face the United States on July 1 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The winner of that match will go on to play either Argentina or Switzerland in the quarter-finals.
3. Ties Are Handled by Overtime & Penalty Kick Shootouts
Rather than ending in a draw, games from here until the end of the tournament must end with clear winners and losers. In the coming rounds, ties will be settled with two 15-minute periods of sudden-death extra time.
If a goal is still not scored, the game will be settled with a penalty kick-off.
4. The USA Has Only Gotten Past the Round of 16 Twice
The United States has been competing in the FIFA World Cup since its creation in 1930. During that time, the USA has qualified 11 times. Of those 11, it has gotten to the Round of 16 six times, and made it past the Round of 16 twice — in 1930 and 2002.
5. The Final Match Will Take Place July 13
The Round of 16 matches begin on June 28 and end on July 1. The Quarterfinals will be played on July 4 and 5. The Semifinals will be played on July 8, and the final match will take place on July 13 at 3 p.m.