FIFA World Cup 2018 Knock Out Stages
For the first time since 1982 there were no African teams in the Round of 16.
The usual rules about extra-time and penalties were in force throughout the knock-out phase but teams were now allowed to make a fourth substitution in extra-time.
The Telstar 18 match ball developed by Adidas for the tournament was replaced in the knock-out phase by the Mechta (Russian for "dreams" or "ambition"). According to Adidas, "We have taken that same innovative design and re-imagined it, creating a ball that perfectly suits the pressures and opportunities of the FIFA World Cup knockout stage." What this amounts to is that the new ball was the same as the old ball but with some red bits on it.
Because of the group results the highest ranked teams remaining all wound up on the same side of the draw and proceeded to knock each other out of the competition while the Russians, the side ranked lowest in the tournament, defied all expectations.