While the group stage of a World Cup can often underwhelm, that wasn't the case in 2022.
It seemed that nearly every group had plenty left to play for coming into the final round of games, often to rather dramatic results. The majority of the big hitters made it through, but there was no shortage of thrills and spills along the way.
Now, the real drama gets underway.
The knockout stages usually provides most of the memorable moments in a given tournament, something that will hopefully continue over the next couple of weeks.
It is certainly something to look forward to, although the scheduling of some of the game would leave you scratching your head.
2022 FIFA World Cup scheduling makes no sense
The scheduling for the last-16 games has been largely as you would expect, although there are some anomalies when it comes to some teams.
Take England as an example.
Gareth Southgate's side played their final group game on Tuesday, November 30th, then playing in their last-16 tie five days later on December 4th. Having won that tie, they will now face France on Saturday, December 10th. It total, they had ten days between their final group game and the quarter-final.
Brazil look likely to face a very different challenge.
They only played their final group game on Friday, with their last-16 tie against South Korea taking place later this evening. That is only a three-day grace period. Should they win that match, they will play again on Friday, a four-day gap. In total, that is seven days between the last group game and quarter-final.
When comparing the two schedules, it does seem rather bizarre that this was allowed to happen.
Should Brazil reach the quarter-finals, they will be forced to play three games during a one-week time period where England would have played only one. At a tournament taking place mid-season when the demands on players is at an all-time high, this seems like a major oversight on behalf of FIFA.
Hopefully this won't have a major impact on the tournament moving forward, although as we have seen in past editions, injuries can often have a big impact in deciding one-off ties.
However, it would have been simple to just give all nations a similar amount of rest days in between games.
Here's hoping that this won't be a topic of conversation over the coming weeks.
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