THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET 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
Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

It's not the Police's job you clown. How do you know how the operation was conducted?...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

Best get yourself some legal advice if you don't understand something or won't accept anythi...(Read More)


Six houses destroyed by fire

Unless you haven't worked it out, prioritising when poor means staying alive. How do you know t...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

What about the "HiSo's"or influential people as one commentator suggests in another po...(Read More)


Still no charges over deadly collision in Chalong that killed two tourists

What this article is about is a motor accident. Get with the program. Even Australia as are many oth...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

Inhibitors to Thai Justice 101: “I have many things to do. Last month, I had an official meeting i...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

As with every other law in Phuket (parking, speeding etc).... one rule for taxis and one rule for th...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

A happy ending, let us hope she isn't a victim of some more patriarchal BS in way of "honor...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

Where's all the sewage from the recent 10000 + Laguna area condos going? ( I'd be one P O...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

"Well no," well yes, it seems have a problem, first stating incorrectly sect 1336, now ign...(Read More)