And what a start it was.
Brazil and Chile got the knock out stages underway in an enthralling game, which Brazil would just edge through on penalties.
The game began with both teams kicking considerable lumps out of each other, with Neymar especially getting a lot of loving from the Chilean players.
The atmosphere inside the Mineiaro Stadium, was immense and Chile seemed a bit nervous early on, not being able to get a proper foothold in the game.
Howard Webb didn't succumb to the pressure however, making two right calls to turn down a penalty appeal at either end of the pitch, when other refs would have easily withered to the screaming Brazil fans.
The screaming fans would be screaming even louder eighteen minutes later however. Neymar's corner was flicked on by captain Thiago Silva at the near post, and turned into the net by a combination of the knees of both David Luiz and Gonzalo Jara.
Brazil were in the driving seat, and Neymar was once again their biggest threat, the 22-year old dragged a shot wide after creating himself a chance.
However, Brazil's tendency to make sloppy mistakes would haunt them once again. Hulk's horrible back pass of a thrown in was cut out by Eduardo Vargas, whose first time pass found Alexis Sanchez, the Barcelona front man wasted no time in making Brazil pay with a drilled shot across Julio Cesar and into the corner of the net.
The first half was an explosive affair and Brazil nearly fell behind after more careless errors, but the defence just did enough to deny Charles Aranguiz, just before the half's end.
The second half wasn't nearly as high tempo at the first, but we did get a sprinkle of controversy when Brazil thought they'd taken the lead. Hulk took down Marcelo's lofted ball forwarded and just about managed to shin the ball into the bottom corner. But Webb disallowed the goal, deeming that Hulk had controlled the ball with his arm, and further replays would show that he had made the correct call in a brilliant display of refereeing.
Chile brought to life by the decision, then underwent a sustained period pressure themselves, with Cesar doing excellently well to stop Aranguiz' powerful shot from close range, after some lovely play between Juventus pair Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Isla.
Brazil had a series of opportunities to go ahead but the brilliant Claudio Brave was on hand to thwart Hulk's powerful drive after he skipped into the box and then to tip over a Neymar header.
With the scores level, the first dose of this tournaments extra time ensued, Hulk again tested Bravo, this time from range, after beating a couple of Chilean challengers. Despite Hulk's deserved reputation of not being very good, he did look up for it and was taking the game to Chile.
Gary Medel's warrior like performance had to be cut short, as he was carried off on a stretcher in tears. Chile moved into full defensive mode, to try and haul their weary hamstrings over the line for penalties.
But they came so unbelievable close to snatching the win right at the death, which would have caused absolute chaos.
Mauricio Pinilla picked the ball up, played a quick one-two with Sanchez and then the ex Hearts man cannoned a shot off the crossbar, in agonising fashion.
The game finished level and so the game would be decide by a penalty shoot out, in the very first knock out game too!
David Luiz stepped up to take the first spot kick, and emphatically smashed it home after quite a long run up.
First up for Chile would be Pinilla, who came so close to winning the game moments before, but his penalty straight down the middle was batted away by Julio Cesar.
A very timid looking Willian took Brazil's next penalty, and he placed his kick perfectly on the wrong side of the post.
Alexis Sanchez then had the chance to bring his side level, but an excellent save down to his right from Cesar, kept the score in Brazil's favour.
Marcelo's penalty managed to find its way into the net, despite Bravo getting a weak hand to it.
Charles Aranguiz then scored one of the best penalties I've ever seen; under so much pressure, with his legs nearly hanging off, he thumped the ball into the top right corner.
Hulk surprised no one anywhere, by going with power and seeing his penalty saved by the legs of Bravo.
Marcelo Diaz then brought the scores level to 2-2, with a calm penalty down the middle.
With the scores level going into the last penalty of the five each, who else, but Neymar, made the long walk from the halfway line to take Brazil's fifth penalty. He displayed bollocks of steel, completely juxtaposing with Willian, to take a shimmy in his run up and send Bravo the wrong way. Cool as you like.
Chile needed to score. They decided to send up the defender who's just been released by Nottingham Forrest. Jara heartbreakingly hit the post, to send Brazil through and to send Chile home.
What a breath taking game it was, Chile have been remarkable in this tournament and deserved to win the game, had their key players been fully fit they may just have done. But Brazil, if you can't be good, be lucky.
Full Time: Brazil 1-1 Chile
18 - Luiz 32 - Sanchez
Brazil win 3-2 on penalties.
MOTM: Gary Medel
Next up, to determine who'd be facing Brazil in the quarterfinal, the much loved Colombia, took on the much hated Uruguay.
Uruguay's feelings of being victimised by the entire world played into their hands early on, manager Oscar Tarabez was clever enough to create a siege mentality with in the squad and it gave them the edge, for a time. They weren't allowing Colombia to play their game, with lots of hard tackles flying in. Alvero Rios in particularly was playing brilliantly again, filling the gap between midfield and defence and not allowing Colombia to create anything at all.
It would take something special to break Uruguay's stubborn resolve.
Luckily for Colombia, they have a magician in James Rodriguez, playing for them.
Colombia had kept the ball for a massive amount of time, with it resulting in the Monaco player maker controlling the ball on his chest, not once allowing it to be more than a few inches away from his body, then on the turn hitting a stunning volley which went in off the crossbar. Absolutely sensational. And of course, it was celebrated with yet more dancing.
Uruguay tried to respond, Edinson Cavani came close with a free kick and Alvaro Gonzalez called David Ospina into action, the Colombian 'keeper saving well from the midfielder's half volley.
Into the second half and Colombia doubled their lead early on through that man Rodriguez yet again, finishing a great team move.
Colombia moved the ball from the right wing to the left with quick passing, Pablo Armero then sent a deep ball into the box which was unselfishly headed back across goal by Juan Cuadrado, for Rodriguez to sweep in and become the World Cup's top goal scorer.
The game become almost like a training session for large portions of the game after the goal, with Colombia keeping the ball and trying to break down a compact defence once again, with Uruguay lacking any real bite in attack with out the banned Luis Suarez.
But late on into the game, to their credit, Uruguay did go in search of some goals of their own. Christian Rodriguez nearly conjured up similar magic that of his namesake, when he was allowed to race towards the Colombia goal and shoot from distance, but Ospina got two strong hands to it.
Christian Stuani then force Ospina into to an awkward tip over the crossbar, when the Uruguayan's cross-come-shot, nearly sneaked its way into the corner. Ospina, who's been having a great tournament, further proved his worth when he was out early and spread himself well to deny Maxi Pereira. He then got down to his right quickly, to save a well struck Cavani drive and send Uruguay home with no one to blame this time, but themselves.
This leaves Uruguay with plenty to chew over but Colombia a spot in the quarter finals with a real chance of going far in the tournament. They just have to beat Brazil, which can be done.
Full Time: Colombia 2-0 Uruguay
28, 50 - Rodriguez
MOTM: James Rodriguez