By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports activities Soccer Author
Editor’s observe: Every day between now and the kickoff of the primary match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a distinct reminiscence from World Cup historical past. The countdown from 101 continues with Belgium’s comeback win vs. Japan.
The Belgians entered the 2018 World Cup as one of many favorites. Boasting an absurdly gifted squad led by in-their prime international stars similar to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku, they have been destined for a deep run — on the very least.
Someone forgot to inform Japan. With lower than 40 minutes left to play within the spherical of 16 assembly between the groups, the Blue Samurai have been main 2-0.
Implausibly, Belgium — which had simply topped a primary spherical group containing England — have been on the point of elimination of their opening match of the knockout stage. Seventeen excruciating minutes elapsed earlier than the Purple Devils acquired on the scoreboard, however the equalizer — by Marouane Fellaini —arrived quickly after. Nonetheless, additional time loomed because the match entered the fourth minute of stoppage time. However Nacer Chadli scored a final gasp winner, and Belgium superior all the way in which to the semis, the place they’d lose to eventual champion France.
One of many main soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has lined United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a employees author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.
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