A pairing that will no doubt have brought sighs from both camps, but should bring out eager anticipation in everyone else. If these two sides couldn’t possibly have got worse opponents to play given where they finish in the group, it has created by far the best pairing of the round.
The one caveat — and potential wild-card factor — is that neither side is on their best form. Both managers have yet to work out their best formation, and there is an argument that they have actually limited the scope of so many sensationally good attackers.
Argentina obviously have much more talent, not least in Leo Messi, but that is somehow offset by the fact Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has the more obvious solution to his issue. As so many games in this Copa have illustrated, Colombia — and James Rodriguez — radically improve once the ailing Radamel Falcao is taken off. That is going to require a big decision from Pekerman ahead of a big game, although his selection is obviously complicated by the absences of the abrasive Carlos Sanchez through suspension and Enner Valencia through injury.
Finding the right balance will be difficult, but Gerardo Martino has a similar problem with the players he can actually field. The Argentina manager, like many of his predecessors, has yet to work out an approach that maintains a certain security but also releases the creativity of so many brilliant attackers. The Argentines still seem like a side waiting on one of those players to produce a moment of brilliance, rather than that being the natural consequence of their play.
That may just be enough in this game, especially when you have Messi waiting to explode, but it is likely to be an anxious night.