The World Cup’s round of 16 is set after the final group stage games were played Friday. Group H was settled first. Portugal had already clinched a spot in the knockout round, but South Korea turned the group upside down with a late goal for a 2-1 win over the favored Portuguese that put it through as well. Uruguay was in position to advance with a 2-0 win over Ghana, but the South Korea win eliminated the Uruguayans based on a tiebreaker. The Group G finales featured Brazil’s 17-game World Cup group stage winning streak coming to an end after a 1-0 loss Cameroon, and Switzerland holding off Serbia to claim the group’s second spot in the knockout round.
World Cup in Qatar
World champions: Argentina has won the World Cup, defeating France in penalty kicks in a thrilling final in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global soccer star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup appearance. France was bidding to become the first repeat champion since Brazil won consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962.
Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, Qatar’s World Cup will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take another view.
Perspective: “America is not a men’s soccer laughingstock right now. It’s onto something, and it’s more attuned to what’s working for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture — without the benefit of best-of-the-best talent — into international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.