World Cup: Here’s a look at Sunday’s World Cup games
ROUND OF 16
SPAIN VS. RUSSIA
Time: 7 a.m. PDT
TV: Fox, Telemundo
The buzz: Spain, which won the World Cup in 2010, is back in the second round for the eighth time in 10 tournaments, while Russia is playing in the knockout stage for the first time since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Russia, ranked No. 70 in the world, is the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament but it advanced out of a weak group by blitzing Saudi Arabia and Egypt by a combined 8-1 in its first two games. Midfielder Denis Cheryshev, who wasn’t even in the starting lineup for the opener, led the way with three goals. Once the butt of jokes in Russia, the national team now has the country rooting wildly for it — something that should help since Sunday’s game is in the Russian capital. Spain wasn’t as impressive in the first round although it emerged unbeaten from a far more difficult group with a win over Iran and draws with Portugal and Morocco. Diego Costa is its leading scorer with three goals.
CROATIA VS. DENMARK
Where: Nizhny Novgorod
Time: 11 a.m. PDT
TV: Fox, Telemundo
The buzz: Croatia is one of three teams to survive the first round unbeaten and untied. And only Belgium has a better goal differential than Croatia’s +6. Despite playing in a tough group, the only goal Croatia allowed in the first round came on a penalty kick with 14 minutes left in regulation of its final game. Captain Luka Modric has two of his team’s seven goals. This is Croatia’s first appearance in the elimination stage since its first World Cup in 1998. Denmark is also unbeaten — albeit with two draws — but has scored only two goals in its three games. It last made the round of 16 in 2002. Only Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa has more saves than the 16 of Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
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