Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta lined up against Arsenal centre-back Johan Djourou in the first game of the day while Marc Wilmots's Belgium were again flooded with talent from England's top flight, with the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Vincent Kompany in the starting XI.
Goal rounds up how all the Premier League stars got on on World Cup day 20...
|PABLO ZABALETA & JOHAN DJOUROU
Deployed in his usual right-back slot, Zabaleta was a reliable presence at the back as Argentina edged past Switzerland to book their place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
The Manchester City defender attempted to get forward as much as possible but he will be disappointed to have not had more of an impact in the attacking third. Defensively, though, he was solid on what was a tricky assignment up against talented winger Xherdan Shaqiri.
Arsenal centre-back Djourou, meanwhile, was faced with arguably a more difficult task - keeping the likes of Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain quiet.
To this credit, though, Djourou along with central defensive partner Fabian Schar limited the threat posted by Higuain and kept Barcelona superstar Messi quiet right up until the final moments of extra time, when his mazy run led to Angel Di Maria's winner.
|TIM HOWARD & GEOFF CAMERON
The star of the show for United States, Howard almost single-handedly kept Belgium at bay saving well on numerous occasions from striker Divock Origi in particular.
Further fine saves from Kevin Mirallas and Vincent Kompany helped force extra time although it was not to be for Howard USA, as, through Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium finally found a way through.
As for Geoff Cameron, the Stoke City defender was deployed in a holding midfield role by Jurgen Klinsmann and he played his part in nullifying the threat of the likes of Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens.
|THIBAUT COURTOIS & VINCENT KOMPANY
Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois was given little to do for the majority of the game as Belgium dominated, with his opposite number, Howard, performing miracles at the other end.
He will be disappointed to have been beaten by Julian Green for USA's consolation goal although he did make a crucial save in the second half of extra time to keep out Clint Dempsey from close range.
Vincent Kompany, meanwhile, was his usual commanding self at centre-back and nearly popped up on the scoresheet himself as he started a move from deep in his own half before continuing his run and flicking an effort at goal that was kept out by Howard.
Continuing to be stationed out at left-back for Belgium, the Tottenham star really got stuck into his role and, though a little vulnerable-looking in defence, was a livewire presence pushing into the United States half.
On multiple occasions Vertonghen raided into the opponents' penalty area and brought some solid saves out of Tim Howard, as well as attempting an ambitious first-time volley in the second half that sailed only a short way past the top corner. In a battle against first Fabian Johnson and then DeAndre Yedlin, he acquitted himself very well. A great chance on the counterattack in extra time, however, showed him up as a defender in an attacking role as he dawdled into oblivion.
|MAROUANE FELLAINI & KEVIN MIRALLAS
It was an awkward evening for Marouane Fellaini after his starring role in the group stage for Belgium. In the centre of the pitch rather than pushing up in direct support of Divock Origi - at least early on - the Manchester United man was a little of a passenger, with the likes of Michael Bradley outperforming him in midfield.
Fellaini engaged his physical prowess to some effect as he drifted further upfield gradually over the second half, with some chested flicks opening the odd pathway, but was unable to make a telling contribution.
Kevin Mirallas, meanwhile, was a second-half substitute for the disappointing Dries Mertens and the Everton forward immediately added something to the Rode Duivels, with pace and attacking intent. Howard had to stand up well to one shot in particular as he made himself useful in the final third.
|EDEN HAZARD & ROMELU LUKAKU
The Chelsea forward was intent on matching the likes of Lionel Messi and James Rodriguez on their World Cup performances but again could not quite hit those heights as he sometimes struggled to find space against United States.
Flitting between the flanks and the centre throughout the game, Hazard was involved but not deadly as a committed American performance kept a watchful eye on him. He grew into the game in the second half and extra time, though, with some smart flicks in attacking moves that fell apart after he had played his part.
More of a direct impact was had by his club team-mate, Romelu Lukaku, who came off the bench after a poor group stage to prompt the first goal just after the start of extra time. The youngster left Matt Besler for dead as he powered down the right-hand side on the counter and, with a little help from Omar Gonzalez's slip, set up Kevin De Bruyne to finish. He was a livewire throughout the remaining minutes and wrapped up the win with a thumping second goal.