A World Cup finals held in South America was always going to be a special one for nations taking part from that region of the world. With five of the six securing their place in the last 16—Ecuador was the lone country to miss out—it doesn't appear the party will end any time soon.
While the round-of-16 clash between Brazil and Chile will doubtless get plenty of attention with the hosts facing one of the most exciting teams around, it is the other all-South American fixture which might be the best game of the early knockouts.
And, should results fall the right way, we could see a quarter-final tie which offers everything a South American World Cup might be expected to give: a defining game of the 2014 finals.
Colombia romped to a third straight win in their group against Japan on Tuesday, finishing top of Group C in style with nine goals scored in their three matches.
The skill and immense quality of James Rodriguez, the madness of Teofilo Gutierrez and the unstoppable pace and power of Juan Cuadrado combine to make them one of the most dangerous sides in the tournament on the counter-attack.
Colombia have quality going forward to break teams down, and Mario Yepes continues to look ageless and impassable in defence, but they never look more dangerous than just after winning the ball back. In terms of transition play, such a major feature of this World Cup, Colombia are one of the finest.
Even without Luis Suarez, Uruguay aren't doomed. Edinson Cavani has been a big part of their play on and off the ball, and he has found the net during the group stage.
Uruguay aren't the flashiest side around, though they do have potential—if sporadic—creativity with the likes of Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez and Nicolas Lodeiro.
They will give maximum effort to win every game, they are a big threat off set pieces, and they have the tactical ability to mix up their system if the game isn't going according to plan.
The winners of the match will face either Brazil or Chile at the quarter-final stage.
While the majority of the support will be for the host nation and their star player Neymar—tied for the most goals (four) at the tournament so far—perhaps the most exciting and stunning combination for the last eight would be Colombia meeting Chile.
Both sides play with great intensity, huge amounts of skill and a fast, transition-based attack.
In short, it would give us a match which could leave a lasting impression, regardless of the victor, and a genuine candidate for ultimate glory in the Maracana on July 13.
It might not give us Brazil, but that quarter-final match-up could be the game of the 2014 World Cup.
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