Compete at Rostov Arena., Belgium vs Japan balanced goalless in the first half. The shock came in the second half after Japan took a 2-0 lead through goals by Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.
Belgium responded back and able to equalize through goals Jan Vertonghen in the 69th minute and Marouane Fellaini in the 74th minute.
Drama occurs in injury time. The game looks set to continue into extra time, but Nacer Chadli scores ahead of the 90th minute match. Belgium also came out as the winner with a score of 3-2.
This victory led Belgium advanced to the quarterfinals against Brazil. Meanwhile, Japan must lift the suitcase from Russia.
Japan immediately hit and fired a shot into the Belgian defense in the second minute. It’s just the ball shot Shinji Kagawa released is still wide on the left side of the goal.
Japan played more aggressively than Belgium in the opening five minutes. Tight pressing made Roberto Martinez’s team struggle to develop the game.
Belgian slowly began to control the game and suppress the Japanese defense during the game through the 10th minute. However, Japan survives very tightly, which makes Belgium difficult to find a space shot.
Until the 20th minute, Belgium took off three shots and two Japanese shots. However, none of them lead to the goal.
Belgium got the opportunity to get gold in the 25th minute. Dries Mertens crossed the cross from the right side, the ball fell right at the feet of Romelu Lukaku, but he lost balance after being plagued Maya Yoshida. The ball was successfully secured Japan.
In the 27th minute Belgium fired two shots in a row. Mertens started it, but the ball from his hard kick was still blocked. Moments later Eden Hazard also get a similar chance, but the ball can be denied Eiji Kawashima.
A Japanese counterattack launched in the 30th minute. Yuto Nagatomo off the cross from the left side, the ball successfully headed Takashi Inui but the ball was appropriately caught by Thibaut Courtois.
Belgium got a golden opportunity in the 36th minute. Hazard stayed facing the goalkeeper, but Yoshida quickly made the block. The ball then bounced off Axel Witsel, but his shot ball was still rising.
Although on paper the quality of the Japanese players is below Belgium, the Blue Samurai team is not playing a total survival. Japan still play a little open and able to launch a counterattack very quickly.
Courtois made a blunder in the 42nd minute after a catch from Osako’s severance hit. The ball rolled towards the goal, but the Chelsea goalkeeper quickly caught him again. No goals are created until the first half is over. Belgium and Japan are as strong as 0-0.
Japan made a surprise in the early second half. A breakthrough bait Gaku Shibasaki failed to stop Jan Vertonghen. The ball can be mastered by Genki Haraguchi to be driven into the penalty box and fired a shot at goal that can not be stopped by Courtois. 1-0 Japan winning 1-0 in the 48th minute.
Belgium try to respond quickly. One attack produced a shot from Hazard, but the ball still hit the goalpost.
Japan does not play in a position of excellence. They again got a second goal through a shot from outside the penalty box that released Takashi Inui. Japan’s 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute.
Belgium again failed to convert a goal from a golden opportunity gained in the 62nd minute. Thomas Meunier unleashed a cross from the right side, the ball griped Lukaku from close range, but the ball widened from the target.
The Belgium deadlock broke out in the 70th minute. Makoto Hasebe sweeps the ball from a corner, but the ball leads to Vertonghen who is on the left side of the penalty box. The ball headed Vertonghen to the far post without being able to drive Eiji Kawashima who was dead step. 1-2 Belgians left.
Belgium managed to equalize the score to 2-2 in the 74th minute. Marouane Fellaini, who entered in the second half managed to scored with a header after receiving a cross from Hazard left side.
The Red Devils pound the Japanese defense. Opportunity gold gained in the 85th minute, but Kawashima look slick by dismissing the close-range header Nacer Chadli and Lukaku.
Japan must swallow the bitter pill in the injury time. They conceded from a counter-attack scheme. Chadli scored after using the Meunier bait. Not long after the match was completed. Belgium came out as winners with a score of 3-2.
Composition of Players:
Belgium: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Carrasco (Chadli 65 ‘), Witsel, De Bruyne, Mertens (Fellaini 65), Hazard, Lukaku.
Japan: Kawashima; Sakai, Shoji, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Shibasaki (Yamaguchi 81 ‘), Hasebe; Inui, Kagawa, Haraguchi (Honda 81 ‘); Osako.