Let the games begin – 2018 World Cup Knockout Stages!
With the world cup group stages ending yesterday, we wait one more day for the knockout stages to begin.
There’s no better way to watch the game, than to go out and enjoy the match with a bunch of friends or family at your local pub or restaurant. (More about that coming up)
Saturday holds two games:
- The first game is France vs. Argentina and it kicks off at 16:00. Argentina barely scraped through the group stages. Their saving grace was beating Nigeria, in a thriller of a game, 2 – 1 which put them in second in their group. France on the other hand, sit comfortably on top of their group, having won 2 games and only drawing 1. Needless to say, Argentina will come out fighting and will want to prove that they deserve to be in the knockout stage. This is a game that should not be missed.
- The second game of the day is Uruguay vs. Portugal and it kicks off at 20:00. Uruguay finished top of their group, winning all three of their games, so they are definitely looking like fierce contenders. Portugal finished second in their group and struggled against the likes of Iran in their last game, only managing to score once before finishing in a draw. With the likes of Suarez and Ronaldo, the game will be filled with lots of action and definitely some nail biting moments. Expect to see the Portugal fans out in full force!
Sunday holds two games:
- The first game is Spain vs. Russia kicking off at 16:00. The hosts (Russia) started their group stage off on a high. They netted 5 goals against Saudi Arabia and then put 3 past Egypt in their next game. They fell short against a strong Uruguay side, but finished second in their group. Spain finished first in their group, but not in the way that people expected. Spain could only win one of their group games and draw two. Although Spain has been known to be quite the dominant force in the past, Russia will be playing on home turf and will want to prove that they can hang with the “big dogs”. Nothing but pure excitement can be expected for this game.
- The second game is Croatia vs. Denmark kicking off at 20:00. Croatia came out guns blazing in the group stage, not losing a single game and finishing first in their group. Many believe that they could possibly go all the way to the finals and I’m sure that the Croatian players think the same. Denmark finished second in their group behind France, but they did not have the group stage that they would have wanted. They were only able to win one out of their three games and draw the other two. But, in saying this, Denmark could very possibly cause an upset, especially with the likes of Christian Eriksen controlling the mid-field and producing quality finishes. A strong performance will be expected from both sides, and nothing could be better to close out the weekend.
Feed your ego with some facts and get ready to debate with some of your mates.
Why not spice up the conversation with some of the following facts:
- This is the first time that Russia has ever hosted the event in the history of the soccer world cup.
- This is Russia’s 11th World Cup appearance with their highest ever finish being 4th place in 1966.
- Almost half the world’s population tunes in to view the games.
- In 2002 the World Cup was held in 2 countries: South Korea and Japan.
- The oldest scorer in the world was 42 years old. Who could it be? (this happened in 1994)
- India Withdrew from the 1950 tournament because they weren’t allowed to play barefoot.
- The first world cup was played in 1930 where Uruguay hosted and won the event.
- The world cup trophy once went missing in 1966. It was stolen.
With the Soccer fever hitting each city, we thought we’d give you some “vooma” and let you know where to watch the world cup this weekend in Joburg.
Blank Bar in Parkhurst is a cocktail bar which changes its theme every month to showcase different occasions. With the world cup being the highlight of the month, Blank Bar has changed their scene to a Russian Vodka Bar with an enticing menu of vodka based cocktails with some fluffy Russian attire to keep you warm this winter.
A few other places you might want to visit and view the game:
- Belgian House – 20 3rd St, Parkhurst
- Chalkboard Cafe at the Biscope – 286 Fox St, Maboneng
- The Bannister Hotel Bar – 9 De Beer St, Braamfontein which has also been customized to suite the soccer season.
- Queenie’s Shebeen at the Hilton Hotel – 138 Rivonia Rd, Sandton Central, who has gone of their way to create the ambiance of soccer game night!
- Mad Giant – 1 Fox Precinct, Ferreirasdorp, a great place to watch if you love Craft Beer.
Let the games begin.