Belgium threw alert to the breeze to achieve the World Cup quarter-finals as substitute Nacer Chadli scored in the diminishing seconds against Japan to grab a 3-2 rebound win on Monday and set up a clash with five-time champions Brazil.
The upset Japanese, who ran 2-0 up with goals by Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui early in the second half, tumbled to the turf after Chadli jabbed the ball home from Thomas Meunier’s cross four minutes into added time at the Rostov Arena.
Belgium, who had adopted a preservationist strategy to the match, got again into contention with late goals by Jan Vertonghen and substitute Marouane Fellainibefore Chadli struck.
“That is the thing that occurs in the World Cup. It was a trial of character and a trial of the group. It enlightens you everything regarding this group of players,” said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.
A standout amongst the most energizing groups of the group, Belgium confronted a humiliating way out yet at last clicked to end up the main group to win a World Cup knockout match from two goals down since West Germany beat England 3-2 after additional time in 1970.
Belgium’s ‘brilliant gerenation’ have now scored 12 goals in four match in Russia in front of a delicious last eight conflict with Brazil who beat Mexico 2-0 prior on Monday.
With center back Vincent Kompany back in the lineup for the 1st time since picking a crotch strain in a warm-up match, Belgium had looked safe at the back however deadened in advance.
The two groups battled a tight midfield fight yet their advances solidified in the region and Belgium’s wide players, Meunier and Yannick Carrasco, did not go out on a limb going ahead, adequately transforming a 3-4-3 arrangement into a more moderate 5-2-3 framework.
Japan got nearest to an goal in a dull first half when Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois let the ball slip from his hands and between his legs however recouped before it went too far.
The Japanese were ahead not long after the break, however, when Haraguchi beat the offside trap and kept running into the zone to beat Courtois with a cross-shot in the 48th minute.
Belgium reacted however Hazard’s shot shaken the post and Japan multiplied their count in the 52nd when Inui grabbed the ball 25 meters out and discharged a rocket into the back of the net.
The Red Devils were all the while battling yet they pulled an goal back following 69 minutes when Vertonghen circled a header from a high clearance back crosswise over goal into the far best corner.
The energy had moved and in the 74th, Eden Hazard’s cross was met by Fellaini, who adjusted from short proximity with an intense header.
Belgium kept on pushing forward and both Chadli and Lukaku constrained Japan attendant Eiji Kawashima into two or three fantastic recoveries with intense headers four minutes from full time.
In stoppage time, Keisuke Honda’s 30-meter free-kick was parried away by Courtois. The keeper at that point propelled the ball to Kevin De Bruyne, who made a shortcut through the field before discovering Meunier, whose cross was met by Chadli for the victor.