Belgium have beaten Japan in the round of 16 clash of the World Cup by a scoreline that not many would have predicted at the start, 3-2. This match can certainly be considered as the best match of this World Cup so far. Japan have played with all their hearts in this match. However, the Red Devils proved why they are considered as one of the best teams in the recent times.
Belgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez has played experienced Vincent Kompany ahead of Dedryck Boyata in this match. On the other hand, Japan have gone back to their side which played against Senegal in the Group Stage match. The first half between Japan and Belgium has ended with a 0-0 Scoreline. Both the sides have got enough opportunities but neither of them were able to convert those into goals. Romelu Lukaku has missed an one on one opportunity in the first half for Belgium and it was a big miss in that circumstances.
In the second half, Belgium have conceded a goal early. Japan were brilliant in the counter attacks and they got the most important lead in the match. Belgian defense have been completely shocked for a moment when Genki Haraguchi has given the lead to Japan. Thibaut Courtois could have saved that shot on his own day. Again there was a defensive lapse from Belgium. It was a brilliant shot of Takashi Inui to get past Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian Goal.
Within 52 minutes, Belgium were 2-0 behind in the match. The golden generation of Belgium were few moments away from getting eliminated from the round of 16 stage of the tournament. But they kept belief in themselves. Belgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez made two brilliant changes at the 65th minute of the match. Carrasco and Mertens were subbed off to give Chadli and Fellaini a chance to prove themselves. Belgium have a clear advantage over Japan because of their tall height. Belgium were brilliant in set piece movements. Jan Vertonghen has pulled one back for the Belgian side at 69th minute of the match. It was a brilliant header from Jan Vertonghen who has given the whole Belgian side a hope to make a comeback in this match.
After some moments, at the 74th minute of the match, it was a brilliant cross provided by Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini has scored from a brilliant header. Eden Hazard had a great game in Belgium colours against Japan. He has provided 5 key passes in this match which were really vital from the point of view of the match. Japan just lost the match because of lack of experience. There was a fair chance for them to take the match to the extra time from here on. But, they have gone forward in the time of a corner kick at the last minute of the match. The counter attack was on from the Belgian side. Thomas Meunier has provided a brilliant ball and Nacer Chadli has scored the late winner for the Belgian National side to fix a date against Brazil in the Quarter Final of this World Cup.