The World Cup Round of 16 is set as Group H concluded its final matches on Thursday. Once the tournament continues this Saturday, sixteen nations will vie for advancement to quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup.
Thursday's action concluded as Groups G and H closed out their third matches finalizing the knock out stages of the tournament. Group G labeled by many this year's "the group of death", saw Germany beat the United States 1-0 while Portugal beat Ghana 2-1.
Germany was able to hold off the United States in the contest and solidified their place on top of Group G and will now face Algeria in the Round of 16. Ghana needed a victory against Portugal, whom will also still alive heading into today, but neither team were able to get the result they needed and were both eliminated from the tournament.
Belgium secured control of Group H by beating South Korea 1-0 after a 78th minute goal by Belgian defender, Jan Vertonghen, gave the group leaders a goal advantage with 12-minutes to play. Belgium held on to gain the three points and remain unbeaten in the tournament. Algeria gained the one point they needed to advance as the runners-up in the group by drawing Russian 1-1.
The fate of Luis Suarez was decided today following his controversial bite of Italian defender Giorgio Cheillini (TMZ). FIFA handed down its judgement give Suarez a 4-month ban from any football activity along with a 9 match suspension and is ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (Daniels, Bleacherreport).
The ban of Suarez is the largest given to a player at the World Cup and will mean that Uruguay are without the PFA Player of the Year ahead of the match with Columbia on Saturday. Its a blow to Uruguay who will now be short handed against a Colombian side that is undefeated in this tournament.
Here is a look at the upcoming Round of 16 schedule according to FIFA.com. There will be two games played per day with the early games beginning at 9 AM pacific time and the later games beginning at 1 PM pacific time.
June 28th - Brazil vs. Chile and Columbia vs. Uruguay
June 29th - Netherlands vs. Mexico and Croatia vs. Greece
June 30th - France vs. Nigeria and Germany vs. Algeria
July 1st - Argentina vs. Switzerland and Belgium vs. United States