The group stages qualified 16 teams for the knockout stage, and eliminated 8 teams. The knockout stage, as the name implies, consists of a series of (15) games in which the winner advances in the tournament, and the loser is eliminated. The first round of eight games will determine which 8 teams advance to the Quarterfinals, which determine the 4 teams in the Semifinals, and those games (of course) determine the 2 teams to meet in the World Cup Final.
In the event that a match is tied at the end of regulation and stoppage time, there will be two 15-minute periods of extra time will be played, in their entirety. There is no longer a “golden goal” (a.k.a., “sudden death”) rule, which has not been used in World Cup since 2003. If the match is still (or again) tied at the end of extra time, the winner shall be determined via penalty shoot-out.
The initial match pairings are as follows, with the victor at each stage paired with the winner of the match immediately above or below (i.e., a standard single elimination bracket) for the next round. The (2) losing teams in the Semifinals will play in the Third place play-off match.
- United States