The round of 16 did not fail to deliver on drama and tension with all of the group stage winners navigating their way to the quarter-finals.
No side scored more than twice in any of the first knockout games with Germany, Argentina and Belgium all needing to take their matches into extra time for their victories. Brazil and Costa Rica, meanwhile, only qualified via success in penalty shootouts.
Here are the full results from all of the World Cup round of 16 matches and predictions for the quarter-finals:
|Brazil v Chile||1-1 (Brazil win 3-2 on pens)|
|Colombia v Uruguay||2-0|
|Netherlands v Mexico||2-1|
|Costa Rica v Greece||1-1 (Costa Rica win 5-3 on pens)|
|France v Nigeria||2-0|
|Germany v Algeria||2-1|
|Argentina v Switzerland||1-0|
|Belgium v USA||2-1|
|France v Germany||2-2 (France win on penalties)|
|Brazil v Colombia||1-2|
|Argentina v Belgium||3-1|
|Netherlands v Costa Rica||2-1|
James Rodriguez's World Status Sealed
Brazil are about to face their stiffest test of the competition as they take on a Colombia side with a new world superstar on their hands.
The birth of James Rodriguez's top-billing status has been 12 months in the making after his multi-million pound move to Monaco last summer.
But it is here in Brazil that the player has shown what the fuss is all about. James is the World Cup's top goalscorer at present with five goals, per WhoScored.com, and his overall form has been devastating.
No defence has been able to stop him; he has scored in all four of his country's matches and it is questionable if the Brazil back four can do what others have failed to do when trying to control him.
Football writer Richard Jolly highlighted Rodriguez's current goalscoring achievements when he tweeted:
No goal for Messi so James Rodriguez is alone in scoring in every game. No one done it in whole WC since Jairzinho in 1970.— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) July 1, 2014
Now the stage is set for James to hit the highest of heights and destroy the ambitions of a host nation that expects so much.
Brazil have not looked great in the tournament and are far too reliant on the drive of Neymar—something that will punish them in this match.
Colombia have a sumptuous front attacking unit with quality coming through the middle and wide, with Juan Cuadrado a relentless threat on the counter. David Luiz and Thiago Silva will not be able to resist them for 90 minutes.
Expect Rodriguez to once again be the hero as Colombia knock Brazil out of the competition and, in the absence of the suspended Luiz Gustavo, it would be no surprise if he capitalises on the extra space with a couple of goals.
Sergio Aguero To Arrive
Diego Maradona once famously carried Argentina to a World Cup victory in Mexico 1986, and many feel Lionel Messi will need to replicate this if his nation are to succeed here in Brazil.
But this Argentina side has one additional player who has the sufficient magic necessary in front of goal to win matches.
Sergio Aguero's last 12 months have been a succession of injuries splintering what has been a show of excellent form by the player.
He was pivotal in Manchester City's run to the Premier League title in 2013-14 despite spending extended periods on the sidelines.
And once again, Aguero's injury curse has continued for Argentina, with the player being forced to watch rather than participate.
However, the 26-year-old appears ready for the quarter-finals, per Mail Online, and Argentina will need him to support Messi with the weight of expectation heavy.
In Aguero's 35 Premier League, European and international matches this year he has hit the back of the net 26 times and provided eight assists, per WhoScored.com, proving how potent he is.
Will Sergio Aguero score against Belgium?
The timing is right for Aguero to arrive at the World Cup party in Brazil, and if he hits the ground running, he can seriously boost Argentina's quest to reach the final. With three games potentially left to play, there is still ample time for Aguero to leave his mark on the competition.
If fit, Aguero will enjoy the battle with City teammate Vincent Kompany against Belgium, even if his introduction comes from the bench. If Argentina can keep him fit for just a couple of weeks more, he could be the difference between heartbreaking failure and ecstatic success.