2018 FIFA WC: Belgium win five-star thriller with Japan 3-2 to reach quarter-finals

Rostov-On-Don, Russia (PANA) - Belgium and Japan sold out a five-star thriller to the world in their Round of 16 match in the 2018 FIFA World Cup match at the Rostov Arena in Russia on Monday as the Belgians came from two goals down to pip the Japanese 3-2 with the winner in the final seconds of time added on.

The Belgian stars were stung by two quick Japanese goals through Genki Haraguchi in 48th minute and Takashi Inui in the 52nd minute. Haraguchi latched onto a long ball, went past a Belgian defender before releasing his shot that went beyond the outstretched right hand of Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium responded immediately but Eden Hazard's fierce strike rebounded off the right post. But it was the Japanese who rode their luck as Inui's 20-metre shot zoomed past Courtois into the net.

Then came the great Belgian comeback. Jan Vertonghen pulled one back in the 69th minute and substitute Marouane Fellaini's 74th minute headed goal gave the Europeans hope.

As the clock ticked and extra time loomed with the match in the final of four minutes added on, the Belgians stabbed the Japanese at the back with the last kick of the game when Nacer Chadli stabbed the ball into the net completing a swift counter attack following a corner kick by the Japanese.

And when the final whistle went, the distraught Japanese understandably slumped onto the turf and their handlers and fans clutched their heads in total disbelief as they had just been deprived of a famous victory.

The Belgians play Brazil in the quarter-final match.
-0- PANA MA 2July2018

02 july 2018 20:30:53

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