Winners, Losers, Trends And Lessons From The World Cup\'s First Round

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The big pro soccer tournaments in Europe use a combination of group play followed by two-leg series in the knockout stage, but with a fascinating twist. There’s a fresh draw of pairings after each round instead a traditional bracket.

So the eight quarterfinalists pick ping-pong balls to determine who they play next. Then they do it again with the four semifinalists.

The World Cup doesn’t do that. For logistical and ticketing reasons, it has a 16-team, single-elimination bracket filled by predetermined assignments based on whether you finished first or second in group play. Seems equitable enough, except when a mix of fate and quirky results unintentionally dumps all the best teams on one side of it.

Which is what’s happened in Russia. The first round is complete and the bracket is set, and ...

Source : http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/soccer/sd-sp-soccer-world-cup-first-round-20180628-story.html

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