FIFA U-20 World Cup: Final 16 set

VazquezSpain (Getty Images)

The field at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup has been narrowed to 16 teams.

Spain, Nigeria and host Colombia were the only teams to win all of their matches in the group stage, with Nigeria boasting a tournament-best +10 goal differential.

On the other end of the spectrum, Guatemala managed to qualify for the group stage after a late goal lifted the first-time participants to a 1-0 victory over Croatia in their final group game. Despite having a tournament-worst -10 goal differential, the CONCACAF nation qualified as one of the top four third-place finishers along with England, South Korea and Costa Rica.

Here are the matchups for the knockout stage, which begins on Tuesday:

FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP ROUND OF 16

  • Brazil vs. Saudi Arabia
  • Spain vs. South Korea
  • Cameroon vs. Mexico
  • Colombia vs. Costa Rica
  • France vs. Ecuador
  • Nigeria vs. England
  • Portugal vs. Guatemala
  • Argentina vs. Egypt

NOTABLES

  • A potential Brazil-Spain matchup looms in the quarterfinals and would pit two of the tournament favorites against each other.
  • Three of the four CONCACAF participants advanced to the knockout stage, with Panama being the lone nation that didn't make it out of its group.
  • England qualified for the knockout stage despite not scoring a goal. The Three Lions played to three scoreless draws.
  • After his hat trick in the group finale against Australia, Spain's Alvaro Vazquez leads the race for the tournament's Golden Boot with four goals.
  • The top three South American teams (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia) are in separate corners of the bracket, which leaves the strong possibility of an all-CONMEBOL final.
  • The countries that didn't make it out of the group stage were Mali, New Zealand, Uruguay, Australia, Croatia, Panama, Austria and North Korea.

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Which knockout games are you looking forward to the most? Do you see any potential upsets in the Round of 16? Which nation that failed to qualify for the knockout round surprised you the most?

Share your thoughts below.

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4 Responses to FIFA U-20 World Cup: Final 16 set

  1. jones says:

    England were pretty much rubbish – they played like they didn’t even care to be there. No inspiration or drive. And Mexico didn’t impress much either.

    Home nation Columbia looked great, as did Spain, Brazil, Egypt, S. Korea, Nigeria. Even Saudi Arabia showed some nice skill.

    Should be an interesting round of 16.

  2. iameafra says:

    Egypt will upset Argentina.

  3. Shane says:

    will Egypt apologize?

  4. John says:

    The fact that Guatemala got thru is a miracle.