2018 World Cup
Result: Belgium 3-2 Japan
Date: 02 July 2018
Venue: Rostov Arena
Belgium pulled off a remarkable comeback to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup with a 3-2 win over Japan on Monday evening.
Japan settled the better of the two sides in the early stages of the match, dominating possession and forcing Belgium to back-track into their own half.
The Red Devils had opportunities on set-pieces to use their height advantage over the Japanese towards the 20th minute but their deliveries were not up to scratch.
Roberto Martinez’s charges were dominating the match after half-an-hour, but they were unable to carve out chances for Romelu Lukaku.
As a result, the two sides were deadlocked as they entered the halftime break.
Genki Haraguchi broke the deadlock for Japan three minutes into the second stanza with a low strike from the right side of the box following a quick counter-attack.
Takashi Inui then doubled the lead for the Blue Samurai four minutes later with a fantastic curling strike from outside the box to compound the pressure on the Belgium side.
However, Jan Vertonghen pulled a goal back for Belgium in the 69th minute with a magnificent header from the far side, which looped over the keeper before nestling in the back of the net.
Substitute Marouane Fellaini got the equaliser for the Red Devils 16 minutes before time, leaping the highest inside the box to power home a header from Eden Hazard's cross.
Lukaku almost snatched the winner for Belgium five minutes before time with a free header inside the box but Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima produced a spectacular save.
With the final kick of the game, Nacer Chadli netted the winner for Belgium by scoring into a gaping net following a superb counter-attack, setting up a quarter-final clash against Brazil.