FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.

Belgium Beats Japan 3-2 in Hard Fought FIFA World Cup Playoff Match

© Sputnik / Alexander Wilf
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Belgium produced a fantastic comeback to knock Japan out of the World Cup in Rostov-on-Don on Monday. They will now face Brazil in the last eight.

Japan's squad has taken off in the second half with two spectacular goals in a row. Japan's Genki Haraguchi stunned Belgium in the 48th minute when he capitalized on a poor mistake by Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen and fired the ball past the goalkeeper. Takashi Inui scored a beautiful goal just four minutes later, as he arrowed his shot into the net to put his side two goals ahead.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.
© Sputnik / Alexander Wilf
FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.

Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen atoned for his earlier error with an excellent header from an acute angle with 20 minutes to go. Just four minutes later, Belgium drew level. Eden Hazard produced a fine cross from the left flank and Fellaini was on hand to send a powerful header past Eiji Kawashima.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.
© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov
FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.

The game looked set for extra-time, however, as the seconds ticked down, Belgium completed their comeback in stoppage time with a lightning break on the counterattack. The ball was squared to Nacer Chadli who slotted the ball into the net.

Midfielder Gaku Shibasaki has received a yellow card in the 39th minute after lunging at Eden Hazard.
Midfielder Gaku Shibasaki has received a yellow card in the 39th minute after lunging at Eden Hazard.

READ MORE: Senegal Disappointed After Drawing With Japan at FIFA World Cup — Striker Mane

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders was attending the game against Japan, according to an announcement made by the Foreign Ministry's press service.

A total of 41,466 spectators attended the FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday. The Rostov Arena hosted its last match of this summer's tournament on Monday with Belgium producing an amazing comeback to beat Japan 3-2 in the round of 16 game. Earlier, the arena hosted four group-stage matches. A total of 214,197 supporters attended FIFA World Cup matches in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.
© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko
FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.

Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard was named the man of the match after Monday’s round of 16 game with Japan in Rostov-on-Don.

Belgium won all three of their group-stage games, 3-0 in a game with Panama, 1-0 in a game with England and destroyed Tunisia 5-2. In its turn, Japan beat Colombia 2-0 and finished runners-up in their group ahead of Senegal on fair play points because the African side received more yellow card throughout the tournament, having the same number of points and the same goal difference.

The national teams of Belgium and Japan played last time in 2002, the game ended in a draw 2-2.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.
© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko
FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, July 2, 2018.

Before the match, Japanese fans sang a famous Russian song Katyusha:

Belgium will now face Brazil in the quarter-finals in Kazan on Friday.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.

Related:

Senegal Disappointed After Drawing With Japan at FIFA World Cup - Striker Mane
Japan Beats Colombia 2-1 in Teams' 1st Match at 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
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playoff, team, match, 2018 FIFA World Cup, Nacer Chadli, Eiji Kawashima, Jan Vertonghen, Takashi Inui, Genki Haraguchi, Eden Hazard, Japan, Russia, Belgium, Rostov-on-Don
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