Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said he was deeply proud after his team hit back from 2-0 down to beat Japan and claim a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Substitute Nacer Chadli slotted home in the fourth minute of injury time to complete a memorable comeback and seal a 3-2 win in the last-16 match in Rostov-on-Don.
Belgium were stunned after Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui gave Japan a two-goal advantage early in the second half.
But Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini pulled them level and Chadli’s winner means they will play Brazil in the last eight.
“That was a test for the team and its character.
“We survived it, we have gone through and that is the most important thing.”
“No negatives today, it was about getting through. It is a day to be very proud of these players. Keep believing in Belgium.
“In the World Cup you want to be perfect but it’s about getting through, it’s about winning.”
“It’s a test of character… It tells you everything about this group of players”
Roberto Martinez lauds his team after Belgium fought back from 0-2 down to beat Japan at the death. pic.twitter.com/nnqKfYbi3L
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 2, 2018
Belgium, one of the few sides remaining with a 100% record, will now face Brazil in next week’s quarter-final, Tite’s side having an altogether easier time of it as they defeated Mexico 2-0 in Monday’s earlier kick-off in Samara.
© Agence France-Presse (with additional edits from Simon O’Keeffe)