Home Football Belgium Come Back From The Brink To Send Brave Japan Home

Belgium Come Back From The Brink To Send Brave Japan Home

Nacer Chadli was the hero for Belgium as Roberto Martinez’s side came from 2-0 down to knock Japan out of the World Cup.

The European side, strong favourites for this clash, found themselves 2-0 down early in the second half through goals from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui. Belgium had been pedestrian up to that point were now suddenly starting defeat and an early exit square in the face.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA - JULY 02: Takashi Inui of Japan celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at Rostov Arena on July 2, 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Midway through the first half, Martinez sent Nacer Chadli and Marouane Fellaini on, and they would prove to have a contribution in this match. Jan Vertonghen pulled one back with a looping header with 20 minutes remaining, before Fellaini levelled it up with another header five minutes later.

Things looked to be heading towards extra time, and a Japanese corner deep injury time didn’t really hint at much danger way. However, Thibaut Courtois caught the resulting kick and began a threatening Belgium attack on the break.

Kevin De Bruyne charge through the centre before playing it out wide for Thomas Meunier, the PSG man played it low across the box and, after a Romelu Lukaku stepover, Chadli slotted it home to break Japanese hearts.

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3-2 to Belgium the final score, with Martinez’s side now going through to face Brazil in the quarter-finals. A fantastic match in a World Cup that continues to deliver.

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