WORLD CUP: Belgium complete remarkable comeback to stun Japan 3-2
Belgium completed a remarkable revival as they came from the World Cup abyss and beat Japan 3-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
Roberto Martinez’s side were trailing 2-0 when he brought on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and Fellaini scored the equaliser before Chadli netted a 94th-minute winner.
They now face Brazil in the last eight on Friday.
Japan looked on their way to a famous win in Rostov after Genki Haraguchi ran onto Gaku Shibasaki’s long ball, which Jan Vertonghen should have cut out, to open the scoring.
Takashi Inui’s 25-yard strike made it 2-0 and looked set to take the Asian side into their first quarter-final.
Belgium’s Premier League stars – their golden generation – had put in a disappointing performance, and Martinez turned to the oft-ridiculed Fellaini and West Brom winger Chadli in his hour of need.
Their fortunes changed after that as Vertonghen scored a looping header to get them back into the game.
Fellaini then headed in Eden Hazard’s cross to level before Chadli converted Thomas Meunier’s pass to finish off a flowing move and help the Red Devils avoid being the latest victims of a World Cup of shocks.
Belgium are the first team to fight back from two goals down to win a World Cup knockout game since West Germany against England in 1970. (BBC Sport)