Half of the sweet 16 cast is complete. Raise your hand if you had Mexico, Chile, Greece and Costa Rica, who represent half of the qualifiers so far. With your other hand, reach into your pocket and dig out cash to buy a lottery ticket -- because you are on a roll.
The unpredictability of this freakish
Group E: France has wrapped one hand and three fingers around first place. Even with a loss to Ecuador, it probably holds on to the spot thanks to a substantial edge in goal difference. The French have piled up eight goals, three by Karim Benzema, while all three of Ecuador's belong to Enner Valencia.
Switzerland begins the day with a slight disadvantage on goal difference to Ecuador but with a more welcome opponent. Honduras has been outscored 5-1. But if Ecuador records the latest upset, the Swiss are toast.
Group F: Nigeria needs only a point against Argentina to tag along into the next round, which is doable. The Nigerians have yet to grant a goal (while managing but one themselves), and the underwhelming Argentines have been bailed out twice on scores by the incomparable Lionel Messi.