Belgium Win In Amazing Comeback That Will Be A World Cup Classic

Belgium Win In Amazing Comeback That Will Be A World Cup Classic

Romelu Lukaku is also back as the central striker, with coach Roberto Martinez recalling his biggest name players after fielding practically a reserve team in their 1-0 win over England in their final Group G game.

Belgium, on the other hand, still have plenty to prove.

However, he refused to look past Japan towards a potential quarter-final against Mexico or Brazil.

Since Gerd Muller scored 10 goals at the 1974 World Cup for West Germany, five or six goals have usually been enough to claim the top scorer's award at the tournament - with a couple of notable exceptions, including Ronaldo's eight in 2002.

Kagawa, who has 31 worldwide goals, is likely to play as a playmaker behind the lone striker in Nishino's favored 4-2-3-1 formation. Coach Akira Nishino ordered his side to shut up shop and not give away any bookings in the hope that a 1-0 defeat would be enough to see them qualify.

"Japan has a group (of players) that's competitive and ready to do what it takes to win", Martinez said.

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Japan failed to impress in their qualifying campaign, winning a weak group but dropping ten points in the process. Up 2-0 against Belgium, Japan was looking at a first ever trip to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Nishino will have to decide whether to bring the creative trio of Kagawa, Honda and Inui, all of whom were rested against Poland in their last match, back into the side as goal-scoring chances are expected to be at a premium in the face of a mean Belgian backline. The result saw both sides progress at Algeria's expense.

Lukaku scored the victor for Belgium in that friendly meeting last year, and Japan's Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida knows from his time playing in the Premier League of the difficulties the 25-year-old striker will pose.

"Maybe (Belgium) feel after the group stage matches that the tournament is just starting". However, like Martinez, he has three key players on yellow cards - goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, captain Makoto Hasebe and star midfielder Takashi Inui.

Kompany, Belgium's veteran defensive talisman, comes in for Dedryck Boyata and will be partnered by Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in a back three while playmaker Eden Hazard retains the captaincy. "Japan are a different team to Wales, we'll learn the lessons". However, it would be far from a surprise if Belgium get their attacking play together against a well-organized but slower side and score several goals. England registered 13 shots with only one being on goal.

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