Argentina, Netherlands eye quarters as World Cup final 16 kicks off

Australia tackle Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a David v Goliath World Cup showdown whereas america look to ambush the Netherlands because the World Cup knockout rounds get underneath manner on Saturday.

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After a gaggle stage stuffed with twists and turns, the enterprise finish of the event kicks off with 16 groups dreaming of plotting a path to the ultimate in Doha on December 18.

The USA and the Netherlands open the second spherical on the Khalifa Stadium on Saturday, with the People aiming to advance to the quarter-finals for the primary time since 2002.

Coach Gregg Berhalter’s USA squad booked their spot within the final 16 with a 1-0 win over Iran to safe second place in Group B behind England.

Whereas the Dutch possess the higher historic pedigree, reaching three earlier World Cup finals, the USA head into the knockout rounds brimming with confidence.

“It’s an amazing alternative, nevertheless it’s not one thing that we’re going into it pondering it’s an honour,” Berhalter stated.

“We need to be within the place we’re in.”

The US face a Dutch crew who completed first in Group A forward of Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar with out actually exhibiting their greatest kind.

The Netherlands’ veteran coach Louis van Gaal is cautious of the risk posed by the energetic People, describing Berhalter’s crew as probably the greatest within the event.

“They’ve a wonderful crew, I’d say even probably the greatest groups,” stated Van Gaal.

“It’ll be a troublesome match nevertheless it’s nothing we will’t overcome. We even have a great crew.

“However I’m not going to downplay the USA. I feel they’re an instance of what a great crew is.”

In Saturday’s different knockout recreation, South American giants Argentina face an Australia facet who confounded all expectations by getting out of a Group D that included defending champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.

Nevertheless Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni isn’t able to take something as a right having already seen his crew undergo a shock loss to Saudi Arabia earlier within the event.

“Whether or not or not they’re inferior to us stays to be seen. I don’t agree that they’re. That is soccer — eleven in opposition to eleven,” Scaloni stated.

“Overlook who’s theoretically favourites and let’s play soccer.”

Australia coach Graham Arnold in the meantime stated he expects the Socceroos to lift their recreation as soon as extra in opposition to the star-studded Argentines.

“I simply assume that Argentina carry one of the best out of Australia. Our performances each time in opposition to Argentina have been very robust and excellent,” Arnold stated.

“Taking part in in opposition to that sort of expertise, and that identify I feel resonates proper the world over — it’s a soccer nation and it’s inspiring to play in opposition to them.”

– Final-gasp Korea –

The group part led to dramatic trend on Friday when South Korea reached the knockout part with an injury-time profitable objective in opposition to Portugal to arrange a gathering with mighty Brazil.

With the clock ticking down at Training Metropolis Stadium, the Koreans knew they wanted another objective in opposition to Portugal to leapfrog group rivals Uruguay, who had been dealing with Ghana. 

Tottenham ahead Son Heung-min produced an excellent help for Hwang Hee-chan to attain the objective that secured a 2-1 victory.

The Korean gamers then watched the ultimate minutes of Uruguay’s match on a cell phone as they waited for his or her place within the final 16 to be confirmed.

Uruguay, main 2-0 in opposition to the Africans, wanted another objective to undergo however fell agonisingly brief regardless of piling on the strain, crashing out by advantage of objectives scored.

Korea’s Tottenham ahead Son stated he was crying “tears of happiness”.

“There have been moments after I wasn’t capable of do my greatest and I’m grateful for my team-mates that they had been capable of cowl me within the moments I wasn’t capable of fulfil my duties. I’m very happy with them.”

Uruguay veteran Luis Suarez in distinction sobbed in disappointment after the South People had been eradicated.

Switzerland edged a bad-tempered encounter with Serbia to progress, profitable 3-2 to earn a gathering with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

Remo Freuler smashed a half-volley into the web for the Forty eighth-minute winner.

Tempers flared within the second half after Serbia appealed for a penalty, with the stadium announcer calling for an finish to “all discriminatory chants and gestures” round quarter-hour later.

“I can’t inform you the explanation why and what occurred precisely,” stated Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic. 

“Typically the tensions come and a few possibly unhealthy phrases can create some uncomfortable behaviour, nevertheless it’s nothing particular. It’s regular, let’s say, for this type of recreation.”

Brazil gained Group G regardless of dropping 9 gamers from their beginning lineup and dropping 1-0 to Cameroon with Vincent Aboubakar heading in a stoppage-time winner to say a memorable win that might not stop the African facet being eradicated.