Belgium 3 - 2 Japan | 02 Jul 2018

Adjust Comment Print

Goals from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui gave Japan a seemingly commanding 2-0 lead, as Belgium's World Cup chances appeared to evaporate.

A last-minute goal Nacer Chadli capped a remarkable fightback for Belgium as they dumped Japan out of the World Cup in thrilling, not to mention historic, fashion . For the time-being, however, Belgium has the win in the most exciting match of the Cup so far.

Belgium's "golden generation" have now scored 12 goals in four games in Russian Federation ahead of a mouth-watering last eight clash with Brazil, which beat Mexico 2-0 earlier.

Belgium's Nacer Chadli scores their third goal.

As his defence started to tire, goalkeeper Kawashima kept Japan in the game his side with two saves in quick succession to deny Chadli and Lukaku.

The Japanese were ahead soon after the break, though, when Haraguchi beat the offside trap and ran into the area to beat Courtois with a cross-shot in the 48th minute.

Ronaldo can't beat Uruguay on his own, warns Portugal coach
Under him they have won a Copa America and reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2010. They were poor against Iran and I think this is where their tournament ends.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois almost bobbled the ball into his own net just before half-time after a tame shot trickled right to him, but he managed to smother it before any Japanese players could react.

Roberto Martinez's side were trailing 2-0 when he brought on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and Fellaini scored the equaliser before Chadli netted a 94th-minute victor.

It was the whole Belgium team who were facing humiliation seven minutes into the second half as Japan opened up a surprising lead through two high-quality goals.

The momentum had shifted and in the 74th, Eden Hazard's cross was met by Fellaini, who equalised from close range with a powerful header.

Courtois had to look sharp to parry what would have been an own goal by Axel Witsel and then save a Keisuke Honda free-kick.