Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

FPJ's dream XI predictions for Belgium vs Japan

FPJ's dream XI predictions for Belgium vs Japan

Belgium, who tied their 1986 record for most goals at a World Cup with 12, are the first team to come back from a two-goal deficit at any point in the match and win in regulation time of a knockout stage match since Portugal in 1966 against North Korea.

What a World Cup this has been so far.

"No negatives today, it was about getting through", Martinez said.

Belgium have avoided another World Cup shock after coming from behind to beat Japan 3-2 in a thrilling last-16 clash.

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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.

Unfortunately for Japan, the lead would prove short-lived.

Genki Haraguchi kept his composure to pick out the bottom corner on 48 minutes, after Vertonghen had failed to cut out a through-ball from Japan captain Makoto Hasebe.

Lukaku's glaring miss on 62 minutes, when he glanced Thomas Meunier's cross wide with the goal gaping, could have been a key moment had Vertonghen not struck lucky with his own header seven minutes later, an attempt to direct the ball back into the danger zone which looped over Kawashima and underneath the crossbar.

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Fellaini didn't start the game. which is probably why Belgium started off so poorly.

With 25 minutes left, Martinez swapped Fellaini and Chadli for Dries Mertens and Yannick Carrasco, which sparked the Belgium response.

In stoppage time, Keisuke Honda's 30-metre free-kick was parried away by Courtois. Inui headed at Courtois, who shortly after allowed a deflection by Yuya Osako through his legs before recovering, although replays showed the striker was probably offside.

The keeper then launched the ball to Kevin De Bruyne, who made a beeline through the field before finding Meunier, whose cross was met by Chadli for the victor.

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