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Belgium 3 - 2 Japan | 02 Jul 2018

Belgium 3 - 2 Japan | 02 Jul 2018

Belgium 3 - 2 Japan | 02 Jul 2018

This was the culmination of an absolutely insane half that included Japan jumping out to a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first half. Genki Haraguchi got the breakthrough goal, firing a fine effort past Thibaut Courtois in the 47th minute.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois almost bobbled the ball into his own net just before half-time after a tame shot trickled right to him, but he managed to smother it before any Japanese players could react.

Fellaini was thrown on to cause aerial carnage against a much smaller Japanese back line and did exactly that on 74 minutes when he powered the ball down and through Kawashima from Hazard's wicked delivery.

Then Japan went 2-0 up through.

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Japan showed that they were not simply going to sit back when Shinji Kagawa unleashed a second-minute sighter which he dragged only a few yards wide of the post. Their first goal, a Jan Vertonghen header that looped over Eiji Kawashima into the far corner, was slightly fortunate, but probably deserved given the chances they had created throughout the match. The keeper didn't cover himself in glory failing to keep this one out.

Japan coach Akira Nishino returned to the starting line-up fielded against Colombia and Senegal, after changing six players in the last match against Poland.

What followed was a monstrous four-man rush from Belgium up the pitch that ended with the brilliant goal from Chadli.

The win puts Belgium into the quarterfinals, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Brazil in the last-eight. As the Red Devils compete for the World Cup in Russian Federation, the Spaniard brought in from England two years ago is getting credit for moulding a "golden generation" of talented individuals into a multicultural, multilingual team that he says can turn Belgium's awkward divisions into a strength on the field.

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