Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Belgium complete greatest World Cup comeback in 52 years against Japan

Belgium complete greatest World Cup comeback in 52 years against Japan

Belgium secured their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 3-2 win over Japan on Monday at the Rostov Arena in Russian Federation.

Nacer Chadli scored with virtually the last kick of the game for Belgium, who recovered from two goals down to snatch victory in a thrilling round of 16 clash.

Both sides had their chances in the first half, and were committed to playing attractive, attacking soccer - a nice change after Sunday's action - but neither was able to get behind the other's defense with any regularity.

Japan held a 2-0 lead with less than 25 minutes to play, but Belgium scored twice in a six-minute span to tie it.

The last 10 minutes of Japan's final group game against Poland were nothing short of farcical.

Belgium very almost responded instantly, with Eden Hazard rocketing a shot off the post just after the reset.

Belgium had its status as a World Cup title contender severely tested on Monday, as it came back from two goals down to beat Japan and advance to a quarterfinal meeting with Brazil.

Japan again drew gasps as they doubled the lead in the 52nd minute after Takashi Inui rifled home from the edge of the Belgium box to stunned fans at the Rostov Arena.

Japan (4-2-3-1): Kawashima; Sakai, Shoji, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Shibasaki; Haraguchi, Kagawa, Inui; Osako.

The Red Devils were still struggling but they pulled a goal back after 69 minutes when Vertonghen looped a header from a high clearance back across goal into the far top corner.

Belgium's winning goal came on a counterattack launched in injury time.

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