With 16 nations’ teams knocked out after the Group opening stage of the current FIFA World Cup finals taking place in Brazil, the other 16 will continue the quest for world soccer’s prime prize from tomorrow Saturday after a rest day today.
The remaining 16 include three of the four who qualified for the finals from the CONCACAF or Confederation of North America, Central America and Caribbean region.
The trio are Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States of America. Honduras did not make the next grade.
South America whose governing body is CONMEBOL has five advanced to the round of 16 headed by hosts Brazil and including Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.
Two, Nigeria and Algeria, come from the CAF, the Confederation of Africa Football and there are six from Europe’s UEFA in Netherlands, Greece, France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.
Apart from Honduras from the CONCACAF, the other 15 kayoed after the Group stage which ended yesterday are Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana out of Africa, Ecuador from South America, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Iran from the Asia Confederation, Croatia, Russia, Italy, England, Portugal, Spain, the defending champions and Bosnia-Herzegovina from Europe.
Of the early departures only Italy, England and Spain are previous Cup winners with Italy a four-time champion and two-time beaten finalist and England and Spain, both once a winner.
Two matches will be played per day from tomorrow through to next Tuesday in the round of 16.
Brazil kicks the round off against Chile with Colombia versus Uruguay tomorrow’s doubleheader.
On Sunday Netherlands face Mexico and Costa Rica take on Greece.
France versus Nigeria and Germany against Algeria provide Monday’s action and on Tuesday it’s Argentina against Switzerland and Belgium versus the USA.
Winners advance to the quarterfinal round to be contested July 4 and 5th.