Let’s talk about it…….
A world cup replica of the Thriller in Manila played out as Belgium took on Japan for a quarter final berth. Star studded Belgium held sway with possession as they restricted the Japanese to thier own half but with no goal to add a sparkle to the dominace of play.
Japan were content with allowing Belgium to be in control as both sides went into the break goalless. The second half was what many really gave the game the title “the thriller in manila”. Japan were in the lead as Haraguchi’s shot beat Courtois at the near post before a low drive from Inui pit the samurai blue 2 up.
Belgium sought to find a lifeline as Japan hoped to continue the trend of tournament upsets. The lifeline eventually came as Vertoghen’s header beat Hawashima at the far post. Japan were fine with knocking the ball around till full time but Fellaini had other ideas as he rose to meet a Hazard’s cross to bring Belgium back into the contest. Hawashima kept Japan in thegame with excellent saves from Chadli and Lukaku in quick succession.
With the game now level and extra time approaching, Courtois caught hold of a Japanese corner in the box setting De buryne on a counter as he found Meunier whose cross was turned in by Chadli after Lukaku’s dummy. The win sets up a mouth watering clash against Brazil in the quarters.