Belgium defeats Japan to reach 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals

Mae Harvey
July 5, 2018

"I just want to play and I help my team-mates".

Neymar must help Brazil lift the trophy next week if he wants to join the greats, according to the World Cup victor who first took home FIFA's top individual award.

After a goalless first half in the heat of Samara, the world's most expensive player tapped in from the impressive Willian's cross for his second goal of the tournament on 51 minutes.

The 32-year-old Colombian wing-back was involved in a collision with Neymar in a quarter-final match at the Brazilian World Cup in 2014 that resulted in the forward suffering a broken vertebrae. The answers, delivered over a five-goal second half that saw the Europeans come back from two goals down to find an injury-time victor: Japan absolutely belonged, and Belgium has the stomach to fight back.

It looked like Neymar's game - or even his World Cup - could be over with 20 minutes to go.

Thiago Silva is preparing to face a "very strong" Belgium in the quarter-finals and knows Brazil can not become complacent amid their status as World Cup favourites.

"In the World Cup you want to be ideal but it's about getting through, it's about winning", Martinez said. He also extended his platform to show the world he is as good - or better - than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

"Winning or losing is part of the game", Tite said in 2012 after coaching Corinthians in a match against Santos and Neymar. The team opened with a win over Germany, setting the defending champions on the path to an early exit. "He is a magnificent player", said Shearer.

"This is a game of men that is played with intensity and not with so much clowning".

"That now gives them the belief and it's a powerful thing to have". In four games to date, he has scored two goals, including one in the last 16 triumph. Jan Vertonghen (69), Marouane Fellaini-Bakkioui (74) and Nacer Chadli (90+4) all scored goals after being down 0:2 to Japan, all five goals scored in the second half.

Whether or not his social media antics come back to bite him later, with Belgium facing Brazil on Friday in Kazan, remains to be seen.

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