What a game! What happiness! Nacer Chadli’s goal, in the dying seconds, made Brussels and the whole Belgium go completely mad yesterday night.
Should you have heard so many horns yesterday night, no worries, nothing went wrong in Brussels. The Red Devils’ supporters rather celebrated the last goal, which was scored at the last second of the game, which allowed Belgium to defeat Japan and to access the quarter-finals.
Although there was no rational reason to be as triumphant as the Belgian citizens used to be yesterday, as Belgium was clearly favourite against Japan, the game turned into a big deal and the final result was not expected 30 minutes before it ended.
The first half was not very surprising. The Red Devils quickly took the lead. But the Japanese team was actually well organised and its plan perfectly worked at the beginning. They indeed defended in quite both an aggressive and effective way. Both teams therefore tied at the end of the first half.
The second half could have been a real nightmare. In a rapid counterattack, Haraguchi, who benefited from defensive mistakes, quickly scored (47’ – 0-1). Five minutes later, after another mistake, Kagawa also scored (52’ – 0-2).
Roberto Martinez, the Belgian coach, then decided to substitute two players, and both Fellaini and Chadli entered (65’). The game then became very different. Vertonghen scored (68’ – 1-2), as well as Fellaini five minutes later (74’ – 2-2).
While everyone foresaw extra-time, the Japanese team tried to take advantage of two opportunities at the end of the game. But after failing a corner kick, an impressive Belgian counter-attack offered Chadli the last goal of the game…. at the 94th minute (3-2).
That’s why Brussels became absolutely mad at around 10.00 pm! What a game! What a game! Although the Red Devils were not perfect yesterday night, they now can focus on Brazil, which is definitely not an easy thing. Let’s then keep standing up for Belgium on Friday.
Fun fact: successful coaching.
Good to mention in a conversation: for the first time in the history of the finals games in the World Cup, two substitutes from the same team scored. While Belgium was in a bad position, it appears Roberto Martinez who made the right call.