Belgium stages brilliant comeback as Brazil gets past Mexico

0
394
- Advertisement -

Belgium completed a remarkable revival as they came from the World Cup abyss and beat Japan to reach the quarter-finals.
Roberto Martinez’s side were trailing 2-0 when he brought on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and Fellaini scored the equaliser before Chadli netted a 94th-minute winner.
They now face Brazil in the last eight on Friday.
Japan looked on their way to a famous win in Rostov after Genki Haraguchi ran onto Gaku Shibasaki’s long ball, which Jan Vertonghen should have cut out, to open the scoring.
Takashi Inui’s 25-yard strike made it 2-0 and looked set to take the Asian side to their first ever quarter-finals.
Belgium’s Premier League stars – their golden generation – had put in a disappointing performance and Martinez turned to the oft-ridiculed Fellaini and West Brom winger Chadli in his hour of need.
Their fortunes changed after that as Vertonghen scored a looping header to get them back into the game.
Fellaini then headed in Hazard’s cross to level before Chadli converted Thomas Meunier’s pass to finish off a flowing move and help the Red Devils avoid being the latest victims of a World Cup of shocks.
Meanwhile Neymar scored one goal and played a key role in the second as Brazil edged out Mexico in Samara to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive time.
Brazil did not have it all their own way, especially in an opening period dominated by Mexico, but the five-time winners grew into what became a controlled performance.
It means Mexico are once again eliminated at the last-16 stage – as they have been at every World Cup since 1994.
They did have plenty of chances early on, and it was only after a largely frustrating first half for Brazil that Neymar started the move to put his side ahead.
His run across goal and clever backheel won Willian space, and the Chelsea midfielder only needed two touches to drive into box and lay the ball across for the world’s most expensive player to slide home.
It was Brazil’s 227th goal at the World Cup, meaning they overtake Germany as the all-time top scorers.
Just moments earlier, Mexico’s Jesus Gallardo wasted a brilliant chance when he shot wildly over the crossbar instead of playing in Hirving Lozano’s cross. (BBC Sport)

- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here