After 15 days of riveting action, 16 teams are left standing and as many teams are heading home from Fifa World Cup 2018 in Russia.

The group stages were filled with a lot of surprises as the big boys of world football didn't have it easy against lower-ranked teams. The curse of the champions continued as 2014 winners Germany were knocked out of the tournament after their shock defeats to Mexico and Asian side, South Korea.

Argentina were made to work hard for their qualification and at one point in time, the pressure on Lionel Messi's shoulders was immense, given they faced a must-win situation in their final group gam after having been blanked 3-0 by Croatia in their previous encounter.

The knockout stages will be played without an African side for the first time since 1982. On the other hand, there was joy for Asians as Japan was the only side from the continent to make it to the Round of 16 from a fiercely-fought Group H.

As we enter the knockout stages of the World Cup, here's a look at the winners and runners-up from each group. (Final standings here)

Group A

Uruguay won the group with three wins from as many matches while Russia finished second to book a place in the Round of 16, bringing delight to fans of the host nation. The biggest disappointment in the group came in the form of Egypt as Mo Salah-starring side failed to even collect a single point.

Group B

Spain and Portugal, as expected, progressed to the next stage from this four-team group. However, both were made to work hard after some spirited performances from Iran and Morocco.

Iran nearly ended Portugal's hopes during their 1-1 draw on June 25 as they looked threatening in the final minutes at Saransk.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest man to score a hat-trick in the World Cup finals on Friday.PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

Group C

While France did not set the stage on fire, they did what was required to progress to the knockout stages with seven points from three games. Denmark followed them, finishing above Peru and Australia.

Group D

Croatia, led by an impressive Luka Modric, were unstoppable as they collected full nine points from the group. Argentina, as discussed, scraped their way through to the knockout stages.

Lionel Messi Argentina
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the Argentina vs Nigeria World Cup matchAlex Livesey/Getty Images

Group E

Brazil and Switzerland finished as winners and runners-up, respectively. Tite's men gave their fans a few nervy moments before hitting peak form in their final match against Serbia.

Group F

Germany's exit was the biggest story of the group stages as the 2014 winners were shockingly unimpressive despite having one of the strongest, if not the strongest team on paper.

Sweden topped the group after beating second-placed Mexico in the group's final matchday, June 27.

Thomas Muller Germany South Korea
Thomas Muller and the rest of the Germany players react after their scarcely believable defeat to South KoreaAlexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Group G

This group had no surprises if you don't consider England qualifying as one. Belgium topped the group with a 1-0 win over Gareth Southgate's men on June 28. Both the teams scored goals aplenty as they have set themselves up nicely for the knockout stages.

Group H

In what was one of most action-packed groups, the equation changed dramatically on their last matchday, June 28.

Senegal, who were in a good position to qualify, slipped after losing to eventual winners Colombia while Japan, who lost to Poland on Thursday, still managed to scrape through.

Fifa World Cup 2018 - Round of 16 fixtures

Date Match Time (in IST) Venue
Saturday, June 30 France vs Argentina 7:30 pm Kazan Arena, Kazan
" Uruguay vs Portugal 11:30 pm Fisht Stadium, Sochi
Sunday, July 1 Spain vs Russia 7:30 pm Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
" Croatia vs Denmark 11:30 pm Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Monday, July 2 Brazil vs Mexico 7:30 pm Samara Arena, Samara
" Belgium vs Japan 11:30 pm Rostov Arena, Rostov-On-Don
Tuesday, July 3 Sweden vs Switzerland 7:30 pm St. Petersburg Stadium
" Colombia vs England 11:30 pm Spartak Stadium, Moscow