By Lori Ewing

BLANKENHAIN, Germany (Reuters) – A convincing victory in the first knockout round of major soccer tournaments, such as those enjoyed by Spain and the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 round of 16, is not a good indicator of the likelihood of a win in the next stage.

Since 1986, 15 of 19 teams who won the first knockout game of a Euros or World Cup by three or more goals were eliminated in the following round.

The results were analysed by Alex Krumer, a sports economist and professor at Molde University College in Norway.

Spain and Netherlands were the only teams in the Euro 2024 round of 16 to win by three or more goals, with the Spaniards downing Georgia 4-1 and the Dutch crushing Romania 3-0.

Both teams face challenging opponents in the quarter-finals with Spain playing Germany on Friday and the Netherlands meeting Turkey on Saturday.

The teams who have beaten the odds are Germany (twice), Brazil and Denmark. Germany thrashed England 4-1 at the 2010 World Cup before losing in the semi-finals and defeated Slovakia 3-0 at Euro 2016 before going out in the last four.

Brazil clobbered Chile 4-1 at the 1998 World Cup before losing in the final, while Denmark blanked Wales 4-0 at Euro 2020 and then lost in the semi-finals.

“These results mean that teams should not rely too much on the previous games, but rather adjust their preparations to the new opponent,” Krumer said.

He suggested a potential reason for the abnormal percentage of dominant teams losing in the next round could be over-confidence from those sides.

It could also be that opponents are well prepared for the style of teams that won in convincing fashion.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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