France and Uruguay have set up a tantalising quarter final contest after emerging victorious in their Round of 16 clashes overnight.
Australia’s Group C opponents edged Argentina 4-3 at the Kazan Arena, with a stunning Kylian Mbappe performance and world class finishes from Angel Di Maria and Benjamin Pavard headlining an enthralling contest.
Meanwhile, a brace from Edinson Cavani was enough to see off Portugal 2-1 at the Fisht Stadium.
With Argentina and Portugal now eliminated, Les Bleus and Uruguay will face off next Saturday morning in the tournament's first confirmed quarter final at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, kick off at 12AM (AEST).
As the competition enters business time, much of the tournament hype has involved the prospects of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and whether arguably the game's two greatest ever players could crown their legacies by claiming a maiden FIFA World Cup™.
But as both Argentina and Portugal were sent packing, the overnight action might have resembled a changing of the guard as France's Kylian Mbappe took centre stage.
Only Socceroos' starlet Daniel Arzani entered the tournament younger than the Paris Saint Germain forward, and Mbappe's role in France's 4-3 win over Argentina is likely to be remembered as one of the standout moments of the FIFA World Cup™.
The 19-year-old won an early penalty, converted expertly by Antoine Griezmann, after a breath-taking run from deep inside his own half - only for Argentina to hit back twice through Angel Di Maria's stunner and Gabriel Mercado's effort shortly after the interval.
The lead for the two-time Champions would only last nine minutes, as Benjamin Pavard pulled off a sensational half volley to restore parity. Then, Mbappe took the contest by the scruff of the neck with a brilliant four-minute brace.
Mbappe first lashed a left footed strike past Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani after engineering some space in the box before putting Les Bleus 4-2 up with a confident finish at the end of a sweeping Les Bleus counter.
Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back late for Jorge Sampaoli's side, but it wasn't enough to prevent Argentina's tournament exit.
Europe had trumped South America at the Kazan Arena, but Edinson Cavani ensured the same would not be true later in the day as the Uruguayan forward clinched a brace to defeat Portugal 2-1 at the Fisht Stadium.
The Paris Saint Germain man opened the scoring with a thumping header at the back post, but Pepe's equaliser early in the second stanza from a Portugal corner restored hope for the reigning European champions.
Pepe's header was the first goal the South American side had conceded in over 597 minutes of international football - however the Portuguese found themselves chasing what would prove to be an unassailable deficit only seven minutes later, when Cavani curled in a gorgeous winner.
Overall, a thrilling start to the knockout phase of the tournament - which continues tonight on SBS and Optus Sport.
FIFA World Cup™ Round of 16: Monday matches
Spain v Russia, Luzhniki Stadium, kick off Monday 12AM (AEST)
Croatia v Denmark, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, kick off Monday 4AM (AEST)
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