Belgium nails behind from 2-0 necessity to better Japan late

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Jan Vertonghen started Belgium’s quip with a wild, looping header and Nacer Chadli capped it by finishing off a 10-second, end-to-end conflict in a final moments.

It combined adult to a 3-2 feat over Japan on Monday that gave a Belgians a mark in a World Cup quarterfinals for a second true tournament.

Trailing 2-0, Vertonghen scored with a header in a 69th notation that seemed to be a cranky though somehow forsaken in underneath a bar. Substitute Marouane Fellaini headed in another from Eden Hazard’s cranky in a 74th.

Chadli, who came on as a surrogate in a 65th, motionless it with probably a final flog of a diversion in a fourth notation of damage time.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibault Courtois grabbed a dilemma flog and rolled a turn to Kevin De Bruyne, who dribbled to a tip of a centre turn and upheld to Thomas Meunier on a right. Meunier one-timed a turn opposite a area and Romelu Lukaku let it hurl by for Chadli to daub in with his left feet from 7 yards.

Belgium is a initial organisation to overturn a two-goal necessity in a World Cup knockout compare given West Germany flog England in additional time during a 1970 tournament. The final organisation do it in law was when Portugal flog North Korea in a 1966 quarterfinals.

“It’s a exam of character. It’s a exam of a team,” Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said. “You have to see how a substitutes react, how a whole organisation reacts.”

Belgium will subsequent face five-time champion Brazil in a quarterfinals on Friday in Kazan.

Japan led by early second-half goals by Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui, though they couldn’t reason on.

“When we were adult 2-0, we unequivocally wanted to measure another idea and we did have opportunities,” Japan manager Akira Nishino said. “We were to some border determining a game, though Belgium upped their diversion when they had to.”

What was approaching to be a mismatch finished adult being a classic, partly given of Martinez’s decisions to send on Fellaini and Chadli as substitutes in a 65th minute.

“In football, infrequently we wish to be perfect,” Martinez said. “In a World Cup and generally in a knockout stage, it’s about removing through.”

Belgium, that narrowly avoided fasten Germany, Argentina, Spain and Portugal as big-name eliminations, won all 3 of a organisation matches and scored a tournament-leading 9 goals during that stage.

Japan narrowly scraped through, advancing forward of Senegal given it had fewer yellow cards.

The Japanese have now mislaid in a turn of 16 3 times but ever reaching a quarterfinals.

“It wasn’t a players,” Nishino said. “Maybe it was me who mislaid control of a game.”


With a measure even, Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima dived back to tip an 85th-minute header from Lukaku over a bar. Courtois afterwards prevented an own-goal from midfielder Axel Witsel in a 90th and after palmed divided Japan surrogate Keisuke Honda’s long-range giveaway kick.


“When we play opposite Brazil we have to accept that they are a best organisation in a competition. Coutinho, Neymar (are) players who can confirm a diversion in one second,” Martinez said, looking forward to a quarterfinals. “Against Brazil, we consider we can suffer it from a initial minute. When you’re a small boy, we dream of confronting Brazil in a World Cup.”


Belgium extended a dominant run to 22 games.

The Red Devils have not been beaten given a 2-0 detriment to Spain in a accessible in Sep 2016. The final in a rival compare was in a diversion before that: a 3-1 detriment to Wales in a quarterfinals of a 2016 European Championship.

Belgium has scored 74 goals during a dominant run, concealment in each diversion solely a 0-0 pull opposite European champion Portugal in a accessible final month.


Four Japanese players fell on their knees in despondency after a final whistle. Hiroki Sakai and Gen Shoji were in tears.

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