THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Belgium strike back to beat Japan in World Cup epic

WORLD CUP: Belgium produced one of the great World Cup comebacks this morning to beat Japan 3-2 and set up an attractive-looking quarter-final clash against Brazil.

FootballWorld-Cup
By AFP

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 09:57AM


Belgium’s players celebrate their third goal against Japan at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don. Photo: AFP

Belgium’s players celebrate their third goal against Japan at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don. Photo: AFP

Substitute Nacer Chadli was Belgium’s hero on a humid night in Rostov-on-Don, scoring in the fourth minute of injury time to seal the dramatic victory.

Japan had stunned Roberto Martinez’s third-ranked side by racing into a two-goal lead in the second half through Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.

With Belgium looking to be heading home, Jan Vertonghen – the defender whose error had led to Japan’s opener – made amends with a goal to put Belgium back in the game before Marouane Fellaini’s powerful header brought them to 2-2.

It was goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who started the slick move that decided the match, rolling the ball out to Kevin De Bruyne, who raced upfield before feeding Thomas Meunier.

The defender’s cross was intelligently dummied by Romelu Lukaku, allowing West Bromwich Albion’s Chadli to slot past Japan’s keeper Eiji Kawashima.

The Japan players slumped to the turf and coach Akira Nishino said they were too stunned to talk about the match immediately afterwards.

Belgium coach Martinez expressed his pride in the players.

“In the World Cup you want to be perfect but it’s about getting through, it’s about winning,” Martinez said.

“It was a test of character and you see the reaction of our subs coming on to win the game. It tells you everything about this group of players.”

- Brazil on the march -

Brazil stayed on course for a sixth title as Neymar scored and created a goal for substitute Roberto Firmino to snuff out Mexico’s challenge.

Neymar was criticised for his early performances in Russia as he eased his way back to fitness after a broken foot bone, but he carved open a tough Mexican defence without quite reaching his dazzling best.

After a goalless first half in the heat of Samara, the world’s most expensive player tapped in from the impressive Willian’s cross for his second goal of the tournament on 51 minutes.

As Brazil pressed their advantage, Neymar set up Firmino for another close-range finish that sealed the 2-0 victory.

In between, he writhed in agony on the turf after a Mexican opponent appeared to stand on his ankle, but the referee ruled there had been no foul and Neymar was soon on his feet and sprinting.

Neymar hit back at his critics afterwards.

“I don’t care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude,” he said.

“In the last two matches I didn’t talk to the press because I don’t want to, I just have to play, help my teammates, help my team.

“I’m here to win. I can always improve. Today I feel much better and I’m very happy for this win.”

Mexico threatened at times but their World Cup challenge ended at the first knockout stage for the seventh consecutive tournament.


Follow the World Cup with The Phuket News

Keep up to date with all the FIFA World Cup results and group standings by following The Phuket News by clicking here.

You can also get a free printable copy of The Phuket News World Cup wallchart via the link.  

Best of luck for your home nation!

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket mops up after storm lashes island, plunges businesses into darkness

"Now complaining about media coverage," did I miss something, who is complaining, about me...(Read More)


Amid ‘overtourism’ scourge, global survey questions happiness of residents in major tourism destinations

Does anyone think that business operators are going to for-go profits for residents to "feel mo...(Read More)


Phuket beach-touring croc a ‘saltie’, DNA tests confirm

Fresh abrasions from keeping croc in concrete enclosure. Astonished that a croc kept in a concrete...(Read More)


Major power blackout to affect Karon

Understand that now and than at different Phuket areas high voltage cables have to be renewed. But I...(Read More)


Thai man, 30, dies in Phuket motorbike crash

Test drive at dark hours on Phuket ill lighted roads. Speed is your winner,... to heaven. Lucky no...(Read More)


Weapons, ammunition found in vehicle of man shot dead by Phuket police

Either very poor reporting, we see a lot of it, or something wrong here, first report does not menti...(Read More)


Govt to splash B151mn to prevent Phuket road flooding

Nonsense and jibberish. This is just the next mega budget burner. The governor laments the lack of u...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

Best Insp Kurt doesn't get chased by the cops in America- he'll be in for a nasty shot!...(Read More)


Govt to splash B151mn to prevent Phuket road flooding

Ahh- so it's all about 'image' then. No mention about addressing the root causes of thi...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

From the Bangkok Post, "...was shot dead after he opened fire at arresting police after a chase...(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018