ROSTOV-ON-DON – Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said he was deeply proud after his team hit back from 2-0 down to beat Japan and claim a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Substitute Nacer Chadli slotted home in the fourth minute of injury time to complete a memorable comeback and win 3-2 in the last-16 match in Rostov-on-Don.
Belgium were stunned after Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui gave Japan a two-goal advantage, but their late burst put them into a last-eight tie against Brazil.
“No negatives today, it was about getting through,” Martinez said. “It is a day to be very proud of these players. Keep believing in Belgium.
“In the World Cup you want to be perfect but it's about getting through, it's about winning.”
Martinez, the former Everton manager, said: “Let's congratulate Japan, they played the perfect game. They were clinical on the counter and so solid.
“It was a test of character and you see the reaction of our subs coming on to win the game. It tells you everything about this group of players.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)