The 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout stage has been wildly unpredictable thus far, chock-full of thrilling nail-biters and upsets all over the bracket.
And now, the action in Russia continues with the quarterfinals on Friday (July 6), when Uruguay faces France at 10:00 a.m. EST followed by Brazil playing Belgium at 2:00 p.m. EST. Both matches will be televised on Fox Sports 1. There are no World Cup games on the Fourth of July or on Wednesday, the fifth.
Uruguay and France made it to their quarters clash after each ousting two of the world’s best soccer players in the round of 16 this past Saturday: Uruguay with a 2-1 win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and France with a 4-3 elimination of Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
Each squad was aided by a star player scoring two goals, as Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani struck twice (7th and 62nd minute), while France’s Kylian Mbappe netted his goals four minutes apart (64th and 68th minute) in the second half to give his squad a commanding 4-2 lead, before eventually winning 4-3.
At just 19-years-old, Mbappe’s double helped put him in some elite World Cup company.
Only two teenagers have scored 2 or more goals in a World Cup knockout game:
?? Kylian Mbappé pic.twitter.com/kKy4rY6C1T
— World Cup (@FlFAWC2018) June 30, 2018
Meanwhile, Neymar set the tone for Brazil to advance to the quarterfinals with a tap-in goal during the 51st minute against Mexico on Monday. Then, teammate Roberto Firmino added an insurance goal during the 88th minute to seal Brazil’s 2-0 shutout. The pair of goals had Brazil surpassing Germany’s World Cup record of 226 World Cup goals with 228 total, according to ESPN.com.
Brazil will now face Belgium, which had a stirring rally to punch its ticket into the quarters. After a scoreless first half against Japan on Monday, Belgium fell behind 0-2 via two strikes four minutes apart (48th and 52nd). That didn’t stop Belgium from mounting a thrilling comeback with Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini scoring five minutes apart — in the 69th and 74th minute — to knot the match at 2-2, before Nacer Chadli scored deep into second-half stoppage time to punctuate the victory.
Belgium with the perfect walk off goal pic.twitter.com/cmpVGIGYwu
— Barstool Heartland (@barstoolhrtland) July 2, 2018
The clash of styles between Belgium and Brazil should make for a savory quarters matchup, although Brazil will be without the services of midfielder Casemiro, who was suspended after getting a yellow card in the second half Monday.