At 11:00pm, following all of today’s action, the US finally could confirm they will be playing Mexico in Thursday’s Round of 16 game at 2:30pm local, 9:30am EDT, 6:30am PDT.
The US finished third in their group with a 1-1-1 record and will meet their oldest nemesis Mexico, who went 3-0 and allowed only one goal in three qualifying round games. Throughout the day, we were pretty sure we would play either Mexico or the Czech Republic, but there were enough different scenarios to make one’s head spin.
Wednesday was a quiet day. The US had no game today, so it was a leisurely day. I finally was able to jump in the Mediterranean and we went down the hotel’s water slides a couple times, and then sat by the pool for a while.
After dinner I went to the Tunisia/Libya game. Like their last game, the stadium was completely full, but this time there were additional fans lining the aisles. Tunisia let a 2-0 lead slip away and settled for a 2-2 tie against their neighbors, but both teams advanced to the Round of 16.
The eight teams who were eliminated are Argentina, Iraq, Somalia, India, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Portugal, and Lebanon.
The US/Mexico game will be the third game on the docket Thursday. Other highlight matches include Tunisia/Kazakhstan at 8:30pm local and the last game of the night, Czech Republic/Brazil at 10:00pm.
The US went 3-6 against Mexico this summer on their barnstorming arena soccer tour, but they have never faced each other in minifootball.