Thierry Henry and Romelu Lukaku console Japan players after Belgium comeback

Belgium's Eden Hazard Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne

Belgium's Eden Hazard Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne

There was not even time for Japan to kick-off after Chadli's dramatic 94-minute goal, and the players looked heartbroken as Belgium celebrated an incredible comeback. "I will talk to them when we are back at the hotel", he said.

Belgium, who had been trailing 2-0 after goals from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui, pulled one back through Jan Vertonghen's fluke header in the 69th minute before substitute Marouane Fellaini equalised five minutes later.

Belgium became the first team in 48 years to come from two goals down to win a World Cup knockout game, but match-winner Chadli always believed the team could get back in the game.

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.

While Honda was dignified in defeat, Japan are entitled to feel they deserved better after a superbly disciplined performance.

Then Inui - operating on the other flank and who has just signed for Spanish side Betis - showed what he can do with a magnificent strike from outside the area after being teed up by Shinji Kagawa.

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But a side who scraped through the group phase only by virtue of receiving fewer yellow cards than Senegal were finally undone in the last quarter of the game. The coach made the changes because he wanted more power in the middle and we managed to bring that.

From 2-0 down, Belgium clawed back a goal from Jan Vertonghen before replacements Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, who hit the 94th-minute victor, also scored to complete the fight back.

The momentum had shifted and in the 74th, Eden Hazard's cross was met by Fellaini, who equalized from close range with a powerful header within 10 minutes of coming on.

"It was important to avoid extra-time. I am devastated. Yes we took the lead, but we couldn't win".

That will be little consolation just now, however.

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