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FIFA 2018: When 16 teams battle it out

Belgium’s forward Adnan Januzaj shoots to score the opener during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.

Belgium’s forward Adnan Januzaj shoots to score the opener during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The knockout stage in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which began on Saturday, will see 16 teams battle it out for a spot in the quarter finals. With reigning champion Germany’s stunning exit in the group stage, some traditional powerhouses playing below par, and thrilling displays from the likes of Mexico, Croatia and Belgium, experts said the race for the World Cup appears to be wide open.

The final will be played at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on July 15. Asia cheered Japan’s entry into the group of 16 thanks to having incurred fewer yellow cards than Sadio Mane-led Senegal but the Samurai Blue know they will need to show much more skill to upset Belgium on Monday.

 

Tomoaki Makino of Japan clears the ball under pressure from Robert Lewandowski of Poland during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Japan and Poland at Volgograd Arena on June 28, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia.

Tomoaki Makino of Japan clears the ball under pressure from Robert Lewandowski of Poland during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Japan and Poland at Volgograd Arena on June 28, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 2:22:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/fifa-2018-when-16-teams-battle-it-out/article24301181.ece

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