Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) – Eden Hazard admitted reminiscences of Belgium’s shock Euro 2016 defeat to Wales haunted him throughout their beautiful Three-2 last-gasp win over Japan to succeed in the World Cup quarter-finals.
“We are just so happy to go through,” stated Belgium captain Hazard, who was the person of the match in Rostov, as his aspect arrange a quarter-final in opposition to Brazil in Kazan on Friday.
Belgium had been going through a World Cup exit when targets by Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui in 4 devastating minutes put Japan 2-Zero up early in the second half.
Hazard stated reminiscences of their shock Three-1 defeat to the unfancied Welsh in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 got here flooding again.
“To be fair, we were thinking it was like two years ago against Wales,” stated Hazard.
“But we have players who can change the game and they came off the bench to make the difference.”
– Fighting spirit –
From 2-Zero down, Belgium clawed again a objective from Jan Vertonghen earlier than replacements Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, who hit the 94th-minute winner, additionally scored to finish the struggle again.
“During the first half we were quite good, but things went wrong at the start of the second half, both goals were avoidable, but the reaction we showed was great,” stated Hazard.
The victory emphatically answered any questions in regards to the Belgians’ combating spirit.
“These are the type of matches we need, so we are all very happy,” Hazard added.
“It’s going to be magnificent playing against Brazil and we need to rest and regenerate.”
Chadli’s fantastically labored objective in the fourth minute of stoppage time was the ultimate act of an epic last-16 battle.
Belgium turn into the primary staff in 48 years to efficiently overturn a 2-Zero deficit in a World Cup knockout sport.
“In the first 60 minutes, we were a little roughed up by the Japanese, who were very well-prepared for our tactics,” stated Belgium’s match-winner Chadli.
“We started to win our duels and showed that we had more desire than them.”
“It (his objective) was like a dream. The coach made the adjustments as a result of he wished extra energy in the center and we managed to carry that.
“When I used to be warming up (to return on), I noticed the Japanese had been tiring.
“It was vital to keep away from extra-time.
“Brazil are an enormous staff, we have seen them play, now we have to relaxation, give attention to the subsequent sport. There just isn’t a lot time.”
Fellaini, who scored their second lower than 9 minutes after approaching, stated Belgium earned the reward for his or her never-say-die spirit.
“It was an vital sport for us as a result of we confirmed the mentality, we come again from 2-Zero and scored three targets in 90 minutes,” stated Fellaini, who has simply signed a contract extension with Manchester United.
“It can be powerful in opposition to Brazil, we all know their high quality, so it will be an excellent take a look at.
“We are more mature than before and we all want to show what we can do against Brazil.”