With three more matches on the docket, by the end of the day five of the eight quarterfinalists would be known and the first pairing will have been set – and what a cracker it will be; a match fit for a final coming far too early in the knockout rounds.
The day began in Moncton, New Brunswick where unbeaten Brazil, who topped Group E without conceding a goal, would face off against the upstart Australians, looking to win their first-ever sudden death match, having survived a difficult Group D.
The Brazilian would take control of the match early, bossing the play and crafting a series of half-chances. Tamires dragged a low shot wide after some good trickery on the left from Cristiane, while Marta sent a low shot from the left rifling towards the short-side, but the Australian keeper, Lydia Williams, was down quick to parry the attempt.
As Canarinhas would come even closer when Formiga met a left-side corner kick at the back-post, only for her downward header to bank off the post.
Having weathered that storm on a drizzly East Coast afternoon, the Matildas would look to strike on the counter. A glimpse came when Lisa De Vanna charged up the right into acres of space, pulling back to Emily Van Egmond at the top of the box. Her shot dribbled wide of the left-post, but the pattern was laid – there was space on that side, of which to take advantage.
Finally in the 80th minute, with the final whistle looming, the match compressed on the left, as an almighty scrap for a bouncing ball ensued. Some strong work by a pair of Australians – Kyah Simon and Katrina Gorry – took possession, Gorry laying a glorious defense-splitting ball inside the Brazilian left-back to spring De Vanna into that space on the right.
Her left-footed drive was parried by Brazilian keeper Luciana, but, with the ghost of Barbosa haunting, the rebound was spilled, falling to the left-side of the box, where Simon had gotten ahead of the trailing defender, on hand to bury a right-footer into the right-side of goal for the stunning win.
Brazil would go in search of an equalizer, a search that would end in vain, as Australia would see out the upset, riding the narrow 0-1 win to the next stage, sending the Brazilians home early. The Australians await the winner of the Japan-Netherlands match on Tuesday to learn their next opponent – it was Australia's first-ever win in the knockout stage of a World Cup.
For all the drama that match provided, it was unlikely the next, a meeting in Montreal, Quebec, between France, who topped Group F, and Korea Republic, who needed a final day win over Spain to move on ahead of Costa Rica, would do likewise.
What it lacked in drama, it more than made up for in quality.
It took just four minutes for the lively French to take the lead, scything open the Korean defenders with some interplay down the left side. Laure Boulleau moved in from the left, playing back to Camille Abily at the top of the area, who returned the favour with a ball towards the end-line. Boulleau then picked out Marie Laure Delie above the near-post and her scuffed left-footer dribbled in at the right-side of goal.
And four minutes later France would double that advantage, Elodie Thomis scoring from a not-dissimilar move down the right-side of the area. Thomis cut in from the right, playing a one-two with Eugenie Le Sommer, before powering inside a defender to lift a left-footed shot over the helpless Korean keeper, Kim Jung-mi.
Les Bleues would add a third in the 48th minute, dooming the Taeguek Nangja to an early trip home.
Delie again would provide the finish, lifting a left-footer of her own over the Korean keeper after a powerful, curling run from Le Sommer broke down the left-side of the area and along the end-line, finding her teammate with a pull-back to the near-post.
With the 3-0 win, France continues to display the form that made them favourites entering the tournament; having been upset by Colombia, the French have turned up the style and will be a force with which to be reckoned.
However, it may be forced to a premature end, as their quarterfinal match will be one for the ages: they will meet fellow potential-champions Germany, in a match that could well determine the eventual winner. It is a shame it comes so early, but rest assured, it will be worth a watch.
And finally, the nightcap, the match everyone had been waiting for, as hosts Canada, who topped Group A, faced off in Vancouver, British Columbia, against Switzerland, who progressed as the third-placed team out of Group C.
A tense opening half saw few chances. Josie Belanger's floated cross from the right struck the inside of the far-post, sailing over the keeper, but rebounding off the woodwork to stay out and a Melissa Tancredi cross appeared to strike the outstretched arm of a Swiss defender.
Canada too had some trouble with the dynamic attacking duo of Ramona Bachmann and Lara Dickenmann, the best chance falling to Dickenmann, who whiffed on a glorious look from yards out.
The breakthrough would finally come for the Canadians (the moniker Flying Moose shall be retired, as now the tournament has gotten serious) in the 52nd minute when a cross in from Rhian Wilkinson was settled by a touch from Christine Sinclair into the path of Belanger, whose curling left-footer nestled in the right-side of the Swiss goal for the eventual game-winner.
Canada would nearly add a second in a mad scramble. Sinclair could not quite reach a Tancredi cross. When the play continued, the ball again came to Belanger, who put an awkward effort towards the keeper-less goal, only for a covering defender, La Nati Captain Caroline Abbe, to clear easily off the goal-line.
A nervous closing half-hour would see Canadian keeper, Erin McLeod, maintain the clean-sheet, bossing her area and coming up huge with a stunning save on Vanessa Bernauer in the dying minutes. Bachmann stole down the left-side of the area, sending a ball into the box that fell to Bernauer at the back-post, but a deft dive from McLeod did enough to thwart the attempt.
The 1-0 win sees Canada progress to the next round, where they await the winner of the Norway-England match, to discover their opponent for the quarterfinal stage. The Swiss head home disappointed.
The Round of 16 continues on Monday with a further pair of matches.
At 5 pm (ET), a two second-placed sides take to the pitch in Ottawa, Ontario to determine who will meet Canada in one quarterfinal encounter. Norway came out of Group B, while England represent Group F.
And at 8 pm (ET) a potential cracker of a match pits the USA against Colombia in Edmonton, Alberta - 21 years to the day since that fateful encounter between the men's teams in the 1994 World Cup. The US topped Group D despite not really impressing, while the Colombians, who finished third in a tricky Group F, have turned some heads and will look to extend their tournament by winning their first-ever knockout match.
Should be a very interesting day. Enjoy!