In a day that made up for the slightly sluggish matches of yesterday, Brazil and Belgium did as expected to set up a mega quarter finals clash. While Brazil dominated and won deservedly against the traditional round of 16 loserism of Mexico, Belgium needed a massive comeback to overcome Japan thanks to their subs and one massive goalkeeper mistake, coming back from 2 goals down.
Brazil 2 Mexico 0 (Match Highlights)
After a strong start by Mexico that presented all the strengths and weaknesses of Osorio’s side, Tite made a small but useful adjustment, moving Philippe Coutinho to the wing and Neymar to the middle, which combined with Mexico’s natural fading enthusiasm, allowed Brazil to take over the pitch. Willian was terrific on the right wing in his best match since the tournament began, and for the goals themselves Brazil enjoyed Neymar at his most focused, connecting with a bouncing Willian pass to put Brazil in the lead and just before the end, in typical Brazil fashion this tournament, it was Roberto Firmino, poaching Brazil’s traditional late second goal.
Belgium 3 Japan 2 (Match Highlights)
The Best 45 minutes of football in this World Cup began with Japan scoring two quick goals to stun an arrogant and complacent Belgium side, and ended in injury time, with replacement Nacer Chadli completing an incredible comeback, scoring the winning goal for Belgium, now advancing to a dream quarter finals match against Brazil. With the game tied at 2-2 in the final 16 minutes
Up Next: Kazan, July 6, Brazil vs Belgium
Goal of the Day – Takashi Inui, Japan
For a while, Inui’s brilliant finish from outside the box looked like it would be the cherry on top of Japan finally making it into the final 8 of the World Cup. But then the Belgium height and physicality took over, and his goal has turned into simply the best looking one in this match, nothing more.
5 goals: Harry Kane (England)
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
3 goals: Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain), Kylian Mbappe (France), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
2 goals: Mile Jedinak (Australia), Luka Modric (Croatia), Philippe Coutinho, Neymar (Brazil), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Eden Hazard (Belgium), John Stones (England), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Son Heung-Min (South Korea), Andreas Granqvist (Sweden), Yerry Mina (Colombia), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Antoine Griezmann (France), Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Takashi Inui (Japan)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez (Uruguay), Nacho, Isco, Iago Aspas (Spain), Paul Pogba, Benjamin Pavard (France), Lionel Messi, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Gabriel Mercado (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Christian Eriksen,Yussuf Poulsen, Mathias Jorgensen (Denmark), Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Chicharito (México), Paulinho, Thiago Silva, Roberto Firmino (Brazil), Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Josip Drmic (Switzerland), Ola Toivonen, Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden), Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi, Adnan Januzaj, Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini, Nacer Chadli (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi, Dylan Bronn, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef(Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka, Keisuke Honda, Genki Haraguchi (Japan), Juan Quintero, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane, Moussa Wague (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jan Bednarek (Poland), Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea), Marco Reus (Germany), Jesse Lingard (England), Felipe Baloy (Panama), Salman Al Faraj, Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia), Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe (Portugal), Khalid Boutaib, Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco), Karim Ansarifard (Irán), Andre Carrillo, Paolo Guerrero (Peru), Victor Moses (Nigeria), Kendall Watson (Costa Rica)
Sweden (Group F winners) vs Switzerland (2nd in Group E)
Colombia (Group H winners) vs England (2nd in Group G)