Belgium 3 Japan 2FT
The one thing that drags people that don’t normally watch football to the World Cup is the drama and the excitement. In a near shocking results for a huge Underdog against heavy favorites. Only for the Favorites to claw back from out of the hole to win at the death. The only Asian representative in The Knockout rounds Japan showed they are dark horses by winning the group of death that featured some top-notch competition. Meanwhile one of the favorites Belgium were in the easiest group in the entire tournament having yet to play against a true competitor and this was an eye-opener and many ways. Japan nearly did the impossible. As they held a two-goal lead in the second half against Belgium what ended in drama with an historic result. Belgium somehow against-the-odds was able to crawl back from that deficit that ended with Belgium scoring a stoppage-time goal to knock Japan out of the World Cup. A heartbreaking result for Japan who had Belgium on the ropes but in the end despite Belgium showing their flaws Belgium get back to the quarterfinals where they have a huge task on their hands.
Belgium came into this world cup as one of the favorites to win it they weren’t massive favorites but after Germany Brazil and France they were the 4th favorites to win the World Cup. This has been the golden generation of Belgium football will they have seen somebody best players in the world come from Belgium but it had yet to really do it and really put it together on the big stage. Belgium did have the luxury of being in arguably the weakest group in the World Cup that featured Tunisia Panama and England. England is a strong team but the other two teams in the group probably were just happy to be there as they showed no threat to Belgium or England during the group stage. Belgium started off the group with a bang with an easy 3-1 over Panama a game they could have won in their sleep. Against Tunisia Belgium founded even easier crushing them 5-2. After 2 games they already confirmed their place in The Knockout rounds. They played England on the last day of the group to determine who would win the group. Adnan Januzaj scored the winning goal against England in a 1-0 win. As Belgium went on to win the group Belgium had yet to be challenged going into the knockout stage but when they got there they were. Japan ended up second in the group of death that featured James Rodriguez and Colombia Sadio Mane and Senegal and Robert Lewandowski and Poland. In their opening game against Colombia Columbia were down to 10 men in the opening five minutes Japan played superbly well and got a game-winning goal with less than 10 minutes to go after Columbia equalized in the second half in response to Shinji Kagawa early penalty. In their next match up they faced off against Senegal and what would be a entertaining shootout going back and forth I believe Japan was the far superior team in that match but in a back-and-forth game Japan scored a late equalizer as the match ended 2-2. They lost the Poland but that ended up being completely irrelevant given that Senegal lost to Columbia they took second in the group of death. taking us all by surprise.
Japan and Belgium met in the round of 16 a game in which many believed Belgium would find little to no problem against a relatively underrated and unknown Japanese Team without star power. The Belgium Stars got a little bit exposed against Japan defensive mistakes and overall an underperforming Belgium team looked to be heading out of the door. Japan went on to scored twice in the second half to put Belgium on the brink of elimination from the World Cup which would have been viewed as a disaster given the talent they have. Despite an overall abysmal performance Belgium clawed their way back against a very strong Japanese team who was playing extremely well. Belgium leveled the game scoring two quick goals with Vertongen and Fellaini finding the back of the net an pair of unlikely scorers. Japan was still very much in the game and was the better team for the majority of it but the drama of the World Cup intensified Belgium ended up on a Counterattack with time winding down and on the brink of death and seconds away from extra time Chadli scored to complete an unbelievable comeback by Belgium. However at the same time I think it was an unfair result as Japan was without question the better team throughout the duration of the match as their players and fan left the stadium in tears. However it was a remarkable World Cup for this Japan team who is one that you’re going to have to look out for in years to come. Belgium will face South American heavy weights Brazil in the quarterfinals. A game and a match the entire world is going to be tuning in to with the type of players coming from both teams. I do feel Brazil are slight favorites and have the better team. Belgium defensively concerns me they’re not going to come back against Brazil they cannot allow themselves to go down. Belgium has a lot of talent but collectively as a team they do not play with the same chemistry as Brazil does. Brazil have the defensive pressure and goalkeeper deal with all the attacking options that Belgium do have. This game could honestly go either way but I would say Brazil certainly has the advantage. However this Belgium team if they address their issues they could be extremely dangerous and their attack with all the talent they have. This Belgium team is talented enough and good enough to win their first World Cup but can they pull it all together to get past a team like Brazil and they eventually deliver a World Cup trophy. Only time will tell…..