With World Cup field halved, here’s a look at what’s next

MOSCOW — The World Cup started with eight groups of four, 32 nations in all seeking to make it to the knockout stage. Colombia and — just barely — Japan grabbed the two spots from Group H in Thursday’s early matches, and England and Belgium sorted out the top of Group F later that night to solidify the field going forward.

Here’s a look at what’s next, starting with the round of 16 :

Group A vs. Group B, Group E vs. Group F

This half of the bracket features big names in two high-powered matches right out of the gate: A loaded France squad plays Lionel Messi and Argentina in Saturday’s early game, followed by Uruguay and Luis Suarez against Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo , with the winners meeting July 6.

Belgium — one of the few top-tier teams to deliver on its hype so far — plays Japan, which sneaked out of its group because it got fewer yellow cards than Senegal. Monday’s later match pits Neymar and a Brazil lineup that seems to be finding its form against a mercurial Mexico squad that knocked off Germany and South Korea but got hammered by Sweden . The winners play July 6.

Group C vs. Group D, Group G vs. Group H

Sunday starts with Russia hosting Spain in Moscow’s main stadium, with the late game pitting Denmark, which hasn’t lost since the fall of 2016, against Croatia, which eased through its group with three wins. The winners meet July 7.

England will carry high expectations into its match Tuesday against a talented Colombia team after essentially choosing that matchup by fielding a squad of reserves in its last group game against Belgium. And the final game of the round of 16 features a Swedish side that won a tough group versus a Swiss team with issues in the back but enough talent up front to score against anyone. The winners play July 7 for the right to go to the semifinals.

Just Posted

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month