Russia 2018: Chadli completes the Red Devils’ comeback

Russia 2018: Chadli completes the Red Devils’ comeback

Nacer Chadli netted the winning goal, as Belgium survived a scare, after coming from behind twice in their round of 16 clash against Japan at the Rostov Arena.

The Red Devils came from two goals down to seal a dramatic 3-2 victory and a tasty quarter final encounter with five-time winners, Brazil, who advanced courtesy of a 2-0 win over Mexico earlier in the day.

Chadli and fellow second half substitute, Marouane Fellaini, came off the bench to play key roles, with both players getting their names on the scoresheet.

After a very dull opening first half, which saw both sides go into the break with the game still goalless, it was a totally different atmosphere in the second 45 as the match finally came alive.

Just three minutes after the break, Genki Haraguchi gave Japan a 1-0 lead, before Takashi Inui’s superb long range effort doubled their advantage four minutes later.

Belgium would get a lifeline after the half-hour mark, as wonderful Jan Vertonghen header reduced the deficit to 2-1.

It was 2-2 five minutes after, when Manchester United’s Fellaini rose above everyone to head home the equaliser following good work from Eden Hazard on the 74h minute.

Both sides continued to push for the winner, but it was Roberto Martinez side who broke the hearts of the Japanese with a deleterious counter attack at the death.

Moments after Kesuike Honda was denied by a brilliant Vincent Kompany tackle, a quick ball from Thibaut Courtois releases Kevin De Bruyne, who picks out wingback, Thomas Meunier, whose low cross finds Romelu Lukaku, with the forward selling an excellent dummy to the Japanese defense for Chadli, lurking behind, to tap into an empty net.

The win sees Belgium through to the quarter final for the third time in their history, while Japan falls short once again in the round of 16 as the head back home.

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