After a forgiving group stage - 16 of 24 teams advanced from the opening phase - the 2015 U-20 World Cup rolls into its knockout rounds. No more slip-ups; win or go home.
The USA suffered a set back in its final group stage match: a 3-0 loss to Ukraine. Colombia also stumbled, beaten 3-1 by Portugal. So this Round of 16 match-up is between two teams that finished second in their group, two teams that were good but not great over their first three matches of the tournament.
Now is the time to regroup and find a higher gear. Both teams will fancy their chances. Colombia's group stage form was not imposing. The second-placed team in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament might fairly have been expected to be one of the better sides in New Zealand, but beating Qatar 1-0, tying Senegal 1-1 and getting trounced by Portugal does not appear to be the hallmark of a potential champion.
Similarly, although the USA only managed to finish third in CONCACAF qualifying, the Americans were thought to have a reasonable shot at winning their group. A workmanlike 2-1 win over Myanmar followed by a 4-0 win over New Zealand suggested the US might be gathering momentum - and then Ukraine slapped down the gathering optimism.
Still, these are two teams that will have targeted a quarter-final berth prior to the start of the tournament. The group stage is behind them, and one will get the spot in the last eight that both might reasonably have hoped for before the competition began.
Incidentally, if you're curious about who the winner of this game might play in the quarterfinal: it will be either Serbia or Hungary, who will kick off their Round of 16 game before this one, at 1:30 am Eastern (also broadcast on Fox Sports).
Knockout round matches (with the exception of the third-place playoff, which will go straight to penalties if required) use two 15-minute periods of extra time as the first tiebreaker if scores are level after 90 minutes. If necessary, a penalty shoot-out follows extra time.