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Belgium v Japan 02 July 2018
02 July 2018, 11:42 | Anna Jefferson
Eden Hazard captains what many consider to be Belgium's golden generation
As the Red Devils compete for the World Cup in Russian Federation, the Spaniard brought in from England two years ago is getting credit for moulding a "golden generation" of talented individuals into a multicultural, multilingual team that he says can turn Belgium's awkward divisions into a strength on the field.
Belgium will next face Brazil in the quarterfinals on Friday in Kazan.
Belgium could claim a comfortable win as they scored nine goals - more than any other side - in the group stages and they boast a formidable attacking force. Japan seemed to surprise Belgium with their press early on, but Belgium grew into the match as the half progressed.
Belgium responded but Hazard's shot rattled the post and Japan doubled their tally in the 52nd when Inui picked up the ball 25 metres out and fired a missile into the back of the net.
Belgium go head-to-head with Japan for a place in the quarter-finals of World Cup 2018.
Japan started off their World Cup campaign with a victory over 10-man Colombia as Shinji Kagawa and Inui scored for the Japs to win 2-1 over Colombia.
Lukaku nearly snatched the victor for Belgium five minutes before time with a free header inside the box but Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima produced a spectacular save.
The final goal came after Belgium stopped a corner kick, then advanced the ball on a counter attack, completing three passes to set up the game-winner.
Belgium, who tied their 1986 record for most goals at a World Cup with 12, are the first team to come back from a two-goal deficit at any point in the match and win in regulation time of a knockout stage match since Portugal in 1966 against North Korea.
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