FIFA World Cup Knockout Rounds Explained

World Cup knockout rounds

Now that the US Men’s National Team defeated the Islamic Republic of Iran 1-0 in their last game of group play, they advanced to the knockout rounds. Christian Pulisic literally put his body on the line to secure the victory for the USA! If you’re a new viewer of the world cup you may have questions about how the knockout rounds work. We know that more Americans have been watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar than ever before to support the national team. So let’s take a moment to explain everything you need to know about the knockout rounds.

The World Cup Bracket

Knockout rounds are exactly what they sound like, the winner of a match advances while the loser is knocked out of the competition. There are four rounds after the group stage, first the Round of 16, then the Quarter-Finals, the Semi-Finals, and the Final. The rounds work on a march madness style bracket system.

In the Round of 16, the winners of the group stage round will play the runner-ups from the next group. For example the Winner of Group A, The Netherlands will face the runner-up of Group B, the United States. The Winner of Group H will face the winner of Group A to complete the bracket. The winners of the paired teams will move on to the quarter-finals, and then the winner of those games compete in the semi-finals. The semi-finals help determine the top 4 of the tournament. The losing teams of each semi-final match will face each other in an extra game, the winner will receive 3rd place the loser is 4th place. The winner of the final match of course wins the World Cup and the loser is 2nd place.

Let’s take a look at a fan’s World Cup bracket predictions as a visual aid.


Yellow And Red Cards

Yellow Cards in the World Cup accumulate and carry over through the rounds. In the World Cup if you receive two yellow cards you are suspended for the next game.  A player who was booked a yellow card in the first game of the group stage, and again in the semi-finals would miss the final match. You can serve your one-game suspension and return to play without further worry one yellow card. It would still take two yellow cards to warrant another suspension. If a player receives a red card they are immediately barred from the match and receives a one-game suspension. A player who receives a red card can not be replaced. Their team will have to finish the game a man short.

No More Draws

If the match ends in a draw at 90 minutes plus stoppage time, there will be a 30-minute additional time period added. If after 120 minutes the score is still tied, the game will be decided by penalty kicks. Each team will take turns taking penalty kicks. The team who wins the most goals in a best of five will be declared the winner.

Now you know everything you need to know to enjoy supporting your team in the World Cup knockout rounds! How far do you think the US team will go? Is it our year to in it all? Comment Down Below with your prediction.


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