Knockout football is officially underway.
It has been a long and treacherous start for some teams as the beginning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup reaches its conclusion. There have been many upsets, including Germany’s elimination despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in their group finale. And there have been many great underdog stories, like the United States who reached the knockout stage after not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Now we move on to the round of 16 where the pressure is on its highest caliber because every match is do or die. You win, you’re in. You lose, you’re out.
With that, here’s the two-game slate to watch for on Saturday as we begin the round of 16:
The day’s first match will feature the United States and the Netherlands. The United States finished the group phase in second place for Group B, while the Netherlands led Group A’s standings.
With Christian “Captain America” Pulisic cleared from the injury he retained during the U.S.-Iran fixture, the USMNT look to surpass the Dutch and make it through to the quarterfinals. However, this won’t be an easy feat considering the Netherlands’ No. 1 between the sticks, Andries Noppert, who has been nothing but prolific so far in this tournament. U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner has a lot of weight on his shoulders.
Kick-off time is 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT.
The second game of the day will feature Australia and Argentina. Australia finished second in their group standings, behind France, while Argentina led the Group C leaderboard against Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Lionel Messi & Co. will have to bring the heat as they did in their Group C finale against Poland, where they snagged a 2-0 victory. But it won’t be easy, considering Australia’s recent domination over Denmark in their Group D finale.
Kick-off time is 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT.