WORLD CUP OPEN THREAD: RD OF 16 MONDAY

Vinicius Costa

The UEFA-CAF Challenge?

So far every day of the Round of 16 has featured a theme of some sort: Saturday's games featured a pair of South America v. South America matchups, Sunday's games featured a pair of surprising CONCACAF teams in action, and today's games feature a heavily-favored UEFA team taking on a surprising CAF team with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.  Europe vs. Africa: it's on!

France made short work of their first two opponents, then cruised to a fairly meaningless draw with Ecuador in the final group stage game.  Nigeria ground out a dull draw with Iran and stole a win over Bosnia-Herzegovina before losing a rollicking game to Argentina in their last group stage game.  France looks like one of the most balanced and deepest teams at the tournament, so Nigeria will need to pull out something impressive to stay alive.

Germany smashed Portugal, then had a wild draw with Portugal, before grabbing a 1-0 win over the US in the rain.  Algeria suffered a narrow loss against Algeria, then trounced South Korea in one of the most fun games of the touranment, and snatched a draw from Russia in the finale to move into the second round.  They're gonna need every last trick in their bag to get past Germany, though.

TODAY'S GAMES:

France v. Nigeria (11 AM CT, ESPN and WatchESPN, Derek Rae and Efan Ekoku)
Germany v. Algeria (3 PM CT, ESPN and WatchESPN, Jon Champion and Stewart Robson)

The usual rules apply.

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