As the group stage came to an end last Friday the knockout-stages now await the competitors at the FIFA under-17 World Cup.
And the fixtures of the round of 16 look like this:
A Italy – Mexico
B Japan – Sweden
C Brazil – Russia
D Honduras – Uzbekistan
E Uruguay – Slovakia
F Morocco – Ivory Coast
G Argentina – Tunisia
H Nigeria – Iran
Italy – Mexico looks like a potential heart-attack inducing game. Both finished second place in their respective groups, both with six points and both having scored few goals. Italy score three and conceded two whilst Mexico scored 5 and conceded 7.
There are plenty of games that have potential underdog-victories in them. The Japan – Sweden game could prove to be one with the Japanese players coming off a three game win-streak through the group whilst Sweden as well as Slovakia, Ivory Coast and Russia qualified as the four best third-placed teams.
Brazil will be looking to build on their successful group stage and keep their win-streak going into the knockout stages.
Honduras will be wary of the tight Uzbekistan team. Having scored four goals and only conceded one, the Uzbekistani's know they can rely on their defence. Honduras have scored four goals as well, but have also conceded six.
Uruguay, with a goal difference of +8 goals, will welcome a game with Slovakia and their -3 goal difference in what will probably be a goal-filled game.
In what could prove to be one of the surprise teams of this tournament, Morocco won their group consisting of Uzbekistan, Croatia and Panama in order to progress unbeaten.
They will face off against the Ivory Coast who came third in the group with Uruguay, Italy and New Zealand. If Morocco manages a win here, who knows where they could finish in the end.
One of the favourites, Argentina undoubtedly have the easiest game on paper, but you never know in knockout competitions. Any team with an organised defence can win a game.
Whilst Iran looked dangerous against both Argentina and Canada, they only managed to beat Austria to make it through. They will face the second strongest attack in this tournament in Nigeria.
Having won their group and scored 14 (!) goals against Mexico, Sweden and Iraq, they look like one of the new favourites to win this tournament - along with Brazil who scored 15 goals in their group, albeit against much weaker opponents.
The quarter finals and semi-finals will look like this, with each winner of each fixture going through to the next stage.
B – D
A – C
E – H
F – G
B – D vs E– H
F– G vs A – C
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