Each of the four World Cup quarter-final favourites were efficient in their underdog slaying antics to claim the four spots in the semis.
Germany, Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands all did the business in low-scoring affairs, breaking the hearts of France, Colombia, Belgium and Costa Rica in the process.
The four defeated outfits all went down swinging with many players justly considering themselves unfortunate to have their involvement in the tournament terminated.
Here is a line up comprised from the losers who should be retching on the sour taste of hard luck:
GK – Keylor Navas
Ever impressive at the World Cup, the sought-after Levante man denied the Dutch five times in Salvador.
In total he conceded just two goals for a team that were tipped for a severe trampling in Brazil.
RB – Mathieu Debuchy
The Newcastle man has defended diligently throughout the tournament (to an extent which many won’t have believed possible based on his Premier League performances) and was the top French tackler in their quarters loss with five.
LB – Jan Vertonghen
Forced to play in an unfavoured position, the Tottenham stopper was adventurous in his marauding forward; only the great Lionel Messi completed more dribbles than his four.
CB – Giancarlo Gonzalez
He marshalled Robin van Persie excellently in guiding Los Ticos to a massively unanticipated clean sheet, winning every aerial duel he contested.
CB – Mario Yepes
The Colombian skipper made more tackles than any member of either his own side or Brazil’s.
CM – Axel Witsel
Frequent tussles with Argentine hard nut Javier Mascherano did not hinder the Belgian’s attempts to knit play together; he had 71 touches of the ball and completed 91 per cent of his passes.
CM – Celso Borges
The Costa Rican creator was the only one of his countrymen to complete at least 90 per cent of his passes – that’s an eight per cent improvement on the best efforts of locksmith extraordinaire Wesley Sneijder.
CM – James Rodriguez
Battered from pillar to post by the Brazilians, ‘Ham-ez’ was the only defeated quarter-finalist to find the net.
RW – Kevin De Bruyne
Some of his set pieces may not have been up to scratch, but the former Chelsea man looked the most likely to prise open Argentina’s defence, much more so than leading conjurer Eden Hazard.
LW – Antoine Griezmann
Largely negated by the expertise of Phillip Lahm, the Real Sociedad man was persistent if nothing else on the left of the French attack.
ST – Karim Benzema
Were it not for some Mauel Neuer heroics, big-match Benzi would have bagged a couple and the seven shots he mustered suggests his failure to trouble the scorers was not through lack of trying.