World Cup 2018 Review Last 16

The World Cup has been reduced from 32 to​ 16 participating nations as​ the knockout stages begin. This is​ how the last 16 faired as​ they battled for a​ place in​ the quarter finals.

Argentina were firm favourites to​ see off Mexico but Ricardo La Volpe’s side were not there to​ simply make up the numbers. Captain Rafael Marquez gave Mexico a​ shock lead after four minutes but Argentina hit back five minutes later through Hernan Crespo, although it​ is​ questionable whether the Chelsea striker touched the ball. With the 90 minute draw secured at​ 7/2, the match looked to​ be heading for penalties until Maxi Rodriguez produced what could be goal of​ the tournament to​ send Argentina into the quarter finals.

Germany set up a​ mouth-watering quarter final encounter with Argentina after seeing off Sweden. Lukas Podolski showed his Golden Boot credentials with two goals after three and 11 minutes to​ win the match for the hosts at​ odds of​ 8/11.

England were predictably short odds at​ 1/2 to​ beat surprise second round qualifiers Ecuador but their 1-0 victory wasn’t convincing. Ecuador should have scored early on when Carlos Tenorio's latched onto an​ error by John Terry, but his shot was deflected off Ashley Cole and on to​ the bar. David Beckham curled in​ a​ decisive free kick after 59 minutes to​ secure victory.

Portugal beat fancied Holland at​ odds of​ 23/10 through a​ solitary Maniche goal after 22 minutes but it​ was four sendings off and plethora of​ yellow cards that was the game’s main talking point. Maniche, Costinha, Petit, Figo, Deco, Ricardo and Nuno Valente were all booked, with Costinha and Deco also receiving their marching orders for Portugal, while Van Bommel, Boulahrouz, Van Bronckhorst, Sneijder and Van der Vaart saw yellow with Boulahrouz and Van Bronckhorst also seeing red.

Italy were odds on jollies at​ 4/7 to​ see off Australia but extra time looked likely until the Italians won it​ with a​ controversial injury time penalty. Lucas Neill was adjudged to​ have fouled Fabio Grosso and Francesco Totti swept home the resulting spot kick to​ send 10-man Italy into the quarter finals.

Switzerland and Ukraine were involved in​ possibly the worst match of​ the tournament so far, with first-time qualifiers Ukraine securing their place in​ the last eight. Both sides played out a​ goalless, 90 minutes draw at​ 2/1 and with no goals in​ extra time, the first penalty shoot-out took place. Switzerland were equally poor from 12 yards out with the Ukraine triumphing 3-0.

Brazil were unconvincing against Ghana, but the 3-0 scoreline will have pleased big hitters who took them at​ 2/7. Ronaldo and Adriano gave Brazil a​ comfortable half-time lead with goals after four and 45 minutes and Ze Roberto rounded off the win with a​ third seven minutes before the end.

Spain were favourites to​ beat France, but it​ was the 1998 winners who pulled off the victory at​ 11/5. David Villa’s penalty gave Spain the lead after 27 minutes, but Franck Ribery on 40, Patrick Vieria on 82 and Zinedine Zidane on 90 turned the match around in​ favour of​ the French.

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