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World Cup schedule: Start times for every match and how to watch

France's Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe celebrate after scoring during a round-of-16 victory over Poland.
France’s Olivier Giroud, left, and Kylian Mbappe celebrate after scoring during a round-of-16 victory over Poland on Sunday. France plays England in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.
(Martin Meissner / Associated Press)
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For the first time, the FIFA World Cup is being played in the Middle East for a fall tournament highlighting soccer’s best.

The U.S. men’s national team saw its World Cup run end in a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands on Dec. 3. After playing to draws against Wales and England, the U.S. defeated Iran 1-0 to reach the round of 16 before falling to the Dutch.

Mexico, hit hard by injuries and issues within its federation, was eliminated from the World Cup on Nov. 30 despite a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in its group-play finale.

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Here’s a look at Friday and Saturday’s quarterfinal matchups:

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Netherlands vs. Argentina

Argentina's Lionel Messi controls the ball during a round-of-16 match against Australia.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi controls the ball during a round-of-16 match against Australia on Saturday. Argentina faces the Netherlands on Friday in a quarterfinal match.
(Frank Augstein / Associated Press)

Where: Lusail Stadium

Time: 11 a.m. PST

TV: Fox, Telemundo, Peacock Premium

The buzz: A couple of interesting streaks are on the line in this quarterfinal, with Dutch coach Louis van Gaal unbeaten in 11 World Cup matches — he lost a 2014 semifinal on penalty kicks — while Argentina’s Lionel Messi is seeking his first championship in his fifth trip to the tournament. The Netherlands’ 2014 semifinal loss came to Messi and Argentina, who went on to the lose the final to Germany in extra time. That was the closest Messi has come to title.

The Netherlands has had the easier time in this tournament, going undefeated in group play, then brushing aside the U.S. with a methodical 3-1 win in the round of 16.

Morocco has used close ties among its players and coach to fuel its historic World Cup success, landing the team a spot in the quarterfinals.

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Argentina started slowly, losing its opener to Saudi Arabia to end a 36-game unbeaten streak, then found its stride with 2-0 victories over Mexico and Poland to win its group. It would have won its round-of-16 game by an identical margin if not for a late own goal, the only score Argentina has conceded in the last 307 minutes.

Messi, who doesn’t have the deep supporting cast he’s had in recent World Cups, has scored half of Argentina’s six goals in the tournament while Cody Gakpo has scored three for the Netherlands.

This is the sixth time these teams have met in a World Cup — only Germany has faced Argentina more often — with Argentina holding a 2-1-2 edge. Argentina has injury concerns regarding forward Angel Di Maria (quadriceps) and midfielders Rodrigo De Paul (ankle) and Papu Gómez (ankle). The Netherlands’ roster is healthy.

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Morocco vs. Portugal

Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stops a penalty kick during a win over Portugal.
Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stops a penalty kick during a win over Portugal in the round of 16 at the World Cup on Tuesday.
(Abbie Parr / Associated Press)

Where: Al Thumama Stadium

Time: 7 a.m. PST Saturday

TV: Fox, Telemundo, Peacock Premium

The buzz: Morocco is the good-news story of this World Cup, a gutty band of underdogs whose selfless, defensive brand of soccer has carried them to the final eight, becoming just the fourth African team and first in 12 years to get that far.

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Portugal has been just the opposite. Although it has lost just once here, winning its group and then routing Switzerland in group play, Portugal’s camp has been consumed by the ongoing Cristiano Ronaldo soap opera that finally led to his benching in the round of 16.

Ronaldo scored on a penalty kick in Portugal’s opener, becoming the first player to score in five World Cups, but he has largely been a distraction since then, arguing he should have gotten credit for Bruno Fernandes’ first goal in Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay, then complaining about being subbed off in the 65th minute of the final group-play match. That led to his benching against Switzerland, a game in which his replacement, 21-year-old Gonçalo Ramos, became the first player in two decades to score a hat trick in his World Cup debut. As for who will start Saturday, Portugal coach Fernando Santos declined to say.

Morocco coach Walid Regragui said he hopes his team doesn’t see Ronaldo.

“He’s one of the best players in history and so I’d be delighted if he didn’t play,” Regragui said.

The way Regragui’s team has played so far in this World Cup, it might not make a difference. No opponent has scored against Morocco in four games — the only goal it has conceded coming on an own goal. Canadian-born goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was spectacular in the round-of-16 win over Spain, holding the tournament’s second-highest-scoring team goalless through 120 minutes, then making two saves in the shootout to help Morocco advance on penalties.

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France vs. England

England's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring during a round-of-16 win over Senegal.
England’s Harry Kane celebrates after scoring during a round-of-16 win over Senegal at the World Cup on Sunday.
(Frank Augstein / Associated Press)

Where: Al Bayt Stadium

Time: 11 a.m. PST Saturday

TV: Fox, Telemundo, Peacock Premium

The buzz: This is a matchup worthy of a final, the defending champions France against 2018 semifinalist England.

The highest-scoring team in the tournament is unbeaten England, which has 12 goals, against once-beaten France, whose nine goals are tied for third. The World Cup’s leading individual scorer in France’s Kylian Mbappe, who has five goals, against England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has a tournament-high three shutouts and a scoreless streak of 270 minutes.

But this game will likely be decided by depth not individual stars and that’s where England has the edge over a France team missing several starters to injury.

Harry Kane, the Golden Boot winner in Russia, is tied for the tournament lead with three assists and England’s bench is deep in attacking options such as Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish. It’s one reason why England’s balanced attack has seen eight players contribute to the scoring while France has gotten eight of its nine goals from Mbappe and striker Olivier Giroud. England’s back line is also deep and experienced.

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France, which has reached the final eight in five of the last seven World Cups, winning the tournament twice, has an excellent playmaker in Antoine Griezmann and standout wingers in Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele. But the longer this game remains the tight, the more the advantage swings toward England, making it imperative that France, which has scored just once in the first half hour, starts strong.

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World Cup TV schedule

Note: All scheduled group matches have been played.

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