Football World Cup: Belgium fight back to beat Japan

  • 03/07/2018

Belgium have fought back to snatch a last-gasp victory over a gallant Japan in their round of 16 clash in Rostov-on-don.

The Asian underdogs fired their way to an unlikely 2-0 lead before Belgium roared back with three goals of their own, including one in the final minute of injury time, to snatch a 3-2 win.

The decisive goal came from a sweeping counterattack which began with goalkeeper Courtois and ended with a Chadli tap-in to spark Belgium celebration and reduce Japanese supporters to tears.

After a goalless first half during which Belgium had the run of play it was Japan who opened the scoring through Haraguchi in the 48th minute, signalling a swing in momentum.

Eight minutes later Inui rifled home from long-range and the stage was set for yet another World Cup upset.

But Belgium refused to lie down, pulling the lead back through an incredible Vertonghen header then equalising in the 74th minute through another header, this time from substitute Fellaini.

round of 16 draw

The death knell for Japan came with only 30 seconds of the four-minute injury time on the clock, Courtois igniting the movement to unleash De Bruyne to find the cross for Chadli's winner.

Belgium now advance to face Brazil in the quarter-finals after the South Americans downed Mexico 2-0.