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Belgium Beat Japan 3-2 To Reach Quarter-Finals

03 July 2018

The second match on the third day of the round of 16 fixtures will see Belgium facing off against Japan in the Rostov Arena to secure a place in the Quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup.

But as the seconds ticked down, Belgium poured forward and Nacer Chadli grabbed a dramatic victor. And despite dominating possession, Belgium failed to create many other quality chances while Japan looked unsafe throughout the first half on the counter-attack.

As Belgium, 58 places above Japan at 3rd in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, came out for the 2nd half and soon found themselves trailing to strikes from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.

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Although Hazard struck the post in the four minutes between the two Japanese goals, Belgium's response to conceding their second was a while coming and it took Martinez's intervention to salvage their tournament.

Inui's goal was a historic milestone for Japan, which had never led a World Cup match by more than a single goal.

Genki Haraguchi capitalised on an error from Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen and fired a low shot past Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois three minutes after the restart.

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Unfortunately for Japan, the lead would prove short-lived.

Belgium's Marouane Fellaini celebrates scoring his equalising goal.

Japan, however, made it through via weird circumstances.

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Japan (4-2-3-1): Kawashima; Sakai, Shoji, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Shibasaki; Haraguchi, Kagawa, Inui; Osako. Courtois launched the ball up field and Lukaku dummied a cross from Thomas Meunier, leaving it for Chadli to slot in for the match victor.

Belgium Beat Japan 3-2 To Reach Quarter-Finals