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Belgium secured their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 3-2 win over Japan on Monday at the Rostov Arena in Russian Federation.

Roberto Martinez's side defeated England 1-0 in their last outing to top Group G, earning what on paper should be a straightforward last 16 assignment against Japan.

They have endured stinging criticism since they ran the clock down in a 1-0 loss to Poland to advance at Senegal's expense by virtue of having collected fewer yellow cards.

Kick-off is 7pm Nigerian time.

The match looked set for extra-time after goals from Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini cancelled out efforts from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.

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Belgium, who are being touted as one of the tournament favourites, have lived up to their billing so far in Fifa World Cup 2018. Japan had 54 percent of the possession against Poland and fired 10 shots with three being on goal.

If Belgium lose on Monday, it will be their first defeat in a competitive match since their shock 3-1 defeat to Wales in the quarter-final of the 2016 European Championship. There is so much hype surrounding this Belgium side, anything but a semifinal appearance - matching the nation's best achievement in 1986 - will be deemed a disappointment.

"We fought bravely in the group and I would like our team to be regarded as equal to Belgium". But, in Belgium, they, will be up against a level of football they have not yet come across. In the last World Cup in Brazil, Belgium needed 120 minutes to get past US in the Round of 16 in Salvador on July 1. Japan have impressed with their organised defence so far but against Lukaku, who will be supported by the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Dries Mertens, the Blue Samurai are facing an uphill task.

The game at the Rostov Arena will see the big names and familiar faces come back into both line ups as the two sides rested players amid rotation during the last set of group game fixtures. Honda, who has netted 37 times for Japan, is no longer a regular, but the 32-year-old former AC Milan player remains risky on free kicks.

Keisuke Honda's 30-metre free-kick was parried away by Courtois in stoppage time before the keeper launched the ball to Kevin De Bruyne to make a beeline upfield before finding Meunier, whose cross was met by Chadli for the victor. If they can put in the sort of determined, gritty, professional display that got them through their first two games, and start to hint at an upset of one of the more fancied sides, the fans will love them again.


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