Asian teams knocked out

But hats out to Japan, South Korea, and Australia for putting up one of the best-ever shows ever in the history of the tournament with sizzling upsets that shocked the world.

Japan was perhaps the most unfortunate in the ‘Round of 16’ as they held Croatia to a 1-1 draw after extra time but lost out 3-1 on mandatory penalty kicks. 

Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu masterminded shock victories over Germany and Spain to top their group and they pushed the finalists from four years ago to penalties. 

In 2018, they led 2-0 in the last 16 against Belgium and lost to a 94th-minute winner from Nacer Chadli. This time, they suffered agony in the shootout.

Now the England-France quarterfinal tie looks especially mouth-watering: France is ranked fourth in the world, one place above England. 

A special plus-point is France having Kylian Mbappe in their attack, who leads the race for the ‘Golden Boot’ with five goals so far, two more than any other player.

The rising team appears to be Brazil, and as a nation, they do not lack confidence when it comes to football fortunes. For this World Cup, those form levels are sky-high, and it is clear to see why, especially after the latest rousing 4-1 win over South Korea.